While otherwise thoroughly enjoying the Run-DMC. renaissance gracing my ears of late thanks to the Mrs. and I finally watching the Biography Channel segment on the band, couldn’t help but get more than a little tweaked by the author of the King of Rock deluxe edition liner notes. Not content to recognize the band as the only rap act to be invited to play Live Aid in 1985, the writer had to resort to the lie Run-DMC was the only black act to be performing at the benefit for children in Africa, and for only a scant six-ish minutes. While I will readily admit the transatlantic concerts were lacking in funk and/or soul (not counting Hall & Oates, John Taylor’s Duran Duran bass work, or INXS via satellite), and understand it’s not the band members who wrote the liner notes, some perspective:
- Off the top of my head, Ashford & Simpson, Tina Turner, B.B. King, The Temptation’s David Ruffin & Eddie Kendrick all on the bill – in the Philly portion I might add, but with no slight to the London locale. Tony Thompson also thundered away as half of the drumming crew for the reunited Led Zeppelin (Phil Collins being the other).
- When you’re the newish kids on the block, surrounded by acts who had been paying their dues for some time, not to mention representatives of a form of music which hadn’t broken anywhere near the mainstream at that point in time, maybe show a little gratitude. Hometown boys The Hooters had a short set, too, and they’re not even featured on the DVD release of the concerts.
- Playing the victim and race card in one fell swoop never recommended when one of the members of Run-DMC’s brother’s none other than multi-millionaire mogul Russell Simmons.
To more positive things, an added thanks to Chuck D for citing Raising Hell as his pick for greatest rap album in the Biography episode. Sure, I still consider Paul’s Boutique the greatest rap album (as well as one of the greatest of any genre), followed by Public Enemy’s Fear of a Black Planet, but not knowing anything off Raising Hell besides its many contributions to Run-DMC’s best of CD, Chuck’s nomination chock full of deep cut awesomeness. Beneath the fold, one of the hits, featuring one of my favorite libertarians, and one of the new faves.
Plus, because I’m still a fan, and not just because they’re straight outta PA …