Bearded guru of the recording studio, Rick Rubin has been one of music’s top producers since making his bones as staff producer and creative head of Def Jam Records in the early ‘80s. While his seminal work with Run-D.M.C., LL Cool J and The Beastie Boys cemented his status early on, starting with 1990’s American Recordings by country legend Johnny Cash, Rubin has become the go-to guy for artists trying to recapture their mojo and launch a career comeback. Like any truly great producer, Rubin’s greatest asset is his ears and his ability to match artists with great material or bring out the greatness of their own talents. It’s no wonder everyone from Jay-Z, for whom he produced “99 Problems,” to heavy metal hall of famers Black Sabbath have him on speed dial. The following are the greatest comeback albums he has produced.
Demi Lovato unleashes the waterworks in the video for her new single “Skyscraper” (which just debuted at #10 in the Billboard Hot 100)?a rare appearance of tears in a video that is about overcoming a struggle. (More often, the performer in such a song is the supportive voice for a crying actor, as Pink does for Tina Majorino‘s character in the video for “F?king Perfect.”) Of course, despite plenty of crossover into film and television by musical artists, singers are not usually the most emotive actors in their videos. Here are five notable exceptions:
5. Demi Lovato “Don’t Forget”
“Skyscraper” is the big single today, but in the video for her 2009 single “Don’t Forget,” co-written by the Jonas Brothers, Lovato gets out of the rain, only to shed a tear over the lost love she sings about.
As we all know, the Second Coming foretold in the Book of Revelations is due to arrive
September 15, 1829 October 22, 1844 September 11?13, 1988 this Saturday, May 21, 2011, so it’s time to prepare for the Rapture. (No, not that one.) So, unless you get Left Behind, Kirk Cameron style, you have a limited time to listen to music! Which is why we have saved you some time by preparing playlists:
THE LAST FIVE SONGS FOR TRUE BELIEVERS by Nick Minichino
5) “The Man Comes Around” by Johnny Cash: In case you forgot what’s about to happen, this song is a handy primer.
4) “The Four Horsemen” by Metallica: The Rapture is going to be rough, so this track from Metallica’s 1983 debut Kill ‘Em All will get you in the right mental state for what’s ahead.
3) “B.I.B.L.E.” by GZA featuring Killah Priest: It’s an acronym for “Basic Instructions Before Leaving Earth”. Plus, it samples the Ohio Players! Nuff said.
2) “Sinnerman” by Nina Simone: It’s important to feel true remorse for those who will not be saved, and this powerful song will do the trick. Warning: if you feel any schadenfreude, that’s pride?a mortal sin?so be careful before you condemn anybody who won’t be coming with you.
1) “Jesus Is Waiting” by Al Green: Call Me, Green’s sexiest album, ends with this gospel precursor to R. Kelly‘s “Trapped in the Closet,” with the soul star and future reverend performing religious call-and-response with himself, and quipping “Save my soul, and I’ll save some for you.”
Jonesing for music on your television set? You?ve come to the right place, rockers! Check out our shortlist below. For more extensive listings, read VH1?s Rock on TV schedule daily.
Walk the Line, 11:20 a.m. (EST), HBO Zone: Joaquin Phoenix does an absolutely spooky job channeling the Man in Black in this Oscar-nominated flick about Johnny Cash’s life?that set the bar for biopics. Brilliant performance scenes feature actors doing all their own singing, and singers doing some acting (Shooter Jennings, Tyler Hilton), but not in a Madonna-Swept Away kind of way. We promise.
Pretty in Pink, 8:00 p.m. (EST), AMC: This ’80s teen angst opus pretty much defined what a soundtrack should do — mixing power pop titans like New Order and INXS amongst sh*t you’d never heard before. John Hughes Poster Girl Molly Ringwald stars, and her former boyfriend and Zappa progeny Dweezil gets a SAG card with a line in a club scene.
We already know what you’re asking for for Christmas: tickets to Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story. Starring John C. Reilly, this send-up of Walk the Line looks profoundly hilarious, and has the added bonus of featuring actual rock stars (Eddie Vedder, Jack White, and…uh…Jewel).
Speaking of Jack White cameos, check out the trailer for the much-anticipated Scorcese directed concert film of the Rolling Stones at the Beacon Theatre.
And finally, a trailer for the very avant Bob Dylan meta-biopic I’m Not There (six Dylans for the price of one!), featuring Cate Blanchett, Christian Bale, Heath Ledger, Richard Gere, Marcus Carl Franklin and Ben Whishaw. Is it just us, or does Cate seem to come closest to the genuine article?