Music » Culture Jamming

Super Super Freak

A Rick James DVD tops this week's pop culture picks

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TOP PICK

I'm Rick James: The Definitive DVD

(Hip-O/Motown/UMe)

The super freak himself stars in more than 25 videos and TV appearances dating back to 1978. Best are pre-MTV appearances on late-night programs like Don Kirshner's Rock Concert and Dinah Shore's daytime chat show. The old-school music videos — for "Give It to Me Baby," "Super Freak" and other funk classics — are pretty cool too.

CD

Ray Charles:

Genius — The Ultimate Collection

(Concord)

There are tons of Ray Charles anthologies out there. The latest collects 21 songs from his long, storied career, spanning his '50s through '70s output. That means there's plenty of classics here, including "I Got a Woman," "What'd I Say" and "Georgia on My Mind." A box set (like the excellent Genius & Soul) offers more history, but this hits-filled disc is a solid primer.

CD

Pearl Jam: Ten: Deluxe Edition

(Epic/Legacy)

Before they took on Ticketmaster and started making records nobody listened to, these Seattle rock giants ruled the world. Four reissued versions of their still-powerful debut are available; go for this three-disc set, which includes the original 1991 album, a new remix and a DVD featuring the band's explosive 1992 MTV Unplugged performance. "Alive," indeed.

VIDEO

The Princess Bride

(MGM)

Rob Reiner's fractured fairy tale from 1987 tweaks the genre the same way his Spinal Tap

messed with rock 'n' roll movie conventions. This new Blu-ray release celebrates the film's splendid set pieces, highlighting the colorful tale of a prince, a princess and a boozy swashbuckler. Bonuses include commentary and a behind-the-scenes feature.

BOOK

Revolution in the Air: The Songs of Bob Dylan, 1957-1973

(Chicago Review)

Clinton Heylin dissects 300 of Dylan's best-known tunes, starting with "Song to Brigit," which Dylan supposedly penned when he was 15. It's an exhaustive look at one of the 20th century's best and prolific songwriters. Heylin pinpoints the literary and biblical references in Dylan's songs and uncovers tons of info about these timeless tracks.

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