Five-Minute Record Reviews: King Crimson, "Anchorman 2" Vinyl, Visage, John Cougar Mellencamp, and Acoustic Scorpions?!

John Mellencamp - 1978 - 2012

Those Mellencamp fans with $135 burning a hole in their pants will wanna belly-up to this 19 CD career-spanning compilation that contains newly remastered versions of all of his "proper" solo albums (in other words, no MainMan stuff) and a decent helping of rarities (although not enough to satiate the hardcore fans, apparently).  Our fave surprise: how great that Falling From Grace CD sounds today.  Wow.

Visage - Hearts And Knives

This came out last spring, but I'm just now spinning it.  Did you even know Visage had started making new music again?  Me neither.  I'll admit that I never gave the whole Steve Strange thing much thought or attention back in the day, but this is a pretty swingin' album.  Imagine Culture Club and Banarama joining forces to rid the world of frowns.  Best track: "Shameless Fashion".

King Crimson - USA (40th Anniversary Re-Issue)

I wish all artists would approach their re-issues with as much attention-to-detail as Fripp does presenting three different Hi-Resolution Stereo mixes of the album.  The exhaustive liner notes will make for weeks of tasty toilet reading (wait, that came out wrong!)  To our ears, Fripp's genius was in being at least fifteen years ahead of his time at all times and essentially creating the blue-print for angular, post-punk guitar.  As far as live albums go, this is one that never seems to get mentioned when folks start name-checking great live albums.  The truth is there are maybe five really great live albums EVER.  This is one of them.

Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues ON VINYL!!

Okay, I'm not reviewing this one so much as mentioning the fact that this cheeky soundtrack album is available on VINYL! Can you believe that?  It gets better, they want $60.47 for it on Amazon.  There are some funny Burgundy tracks and a mix of soft-rock radio favorites (like Jay Ferguson's "Thunder Island" and England Dan and John Ford Coley's "I'd Really Love To See You Tonight)".  "Muskrat Love" was a bit much, though.  Nice to see John Waite's "Change" featured prominently.

Scorpions - MTV Unplugged

This album is not for the faint of heart.  A once-proud German metal band with arena-size hooks reduces their sound to second-rate Vegas lounge act.  Two CD's worth of this demolition of their own material.  Ugh.

Superior St. Rehearsal Facility

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