You got me. In addition to covering a brief history of frat rock compilations, Rush Week has been my not-so-secret Valentine to John "Bluto" Blutarsky as portrayed by John Belushi in the film Animal House. He was my first childhood hero after Evel Knievel. As I've admitted before, I watched Animal House repeatedly, like a 100 times or more, during the Summer of 1980 I spent at my Texas Grandma's house and it made an impression on my young mind. But we're here today to discuss Rhino's digital versions of their classic FRAT ROCK! series of albums.
Released barely a year after the vinyl LP of the same name, 1987's FRAT ROCK! - The Greatest Rock'N'Roll Party Tunes Of All Time boasts 18 tracks instead of the vinyl's 10. Most of the original album's ten songs appear but not all of them. The opening five song salvo is another one of those Murderer's Row of Frat Rock Classics, just one after the other. If track 6 was Cannibal & the Headhunters with "Land Of 1000 Dances" or Mitch Ryder & the Detroit Wheels and "Devil With The Blue Dress On/Good Golly Miss Molly" it would be game over, that's all she wrote, turn out the lights and lock the door. Still, with 18 tracks including that 1987 cover of "Shout" by The Dynatones this time in its 7:00 extended dance remix version to close out the CD, FRAT ROCK! is a lot to take in though the whole thing clocks in shy of 55 minutes total even with the final two tracks running seven minutes. The whole shebang, as well as the discs below, were mastered by Bill Inglot so they sound as good as they can. Four songs from the CD FRAT ROCK! were added to The Ultimate Frat Rock Playlist!
The two songs I mentioned above are here on 1988's Son Of FRAT ROCK! - More Of The Greatest Rock'N'Roll Party Tunes Of All-Time along with sixteen other songs and the whole disc comes in under 48 minutes. None of the disc's songs are new to the playlist but many of them have never sounded better.
After three years, the remainder of the songs that had appeared on the vinyl versions of FRAT ROCK! came out on the third disc in the FRAT ROCK! CD series in 1991, Grandson of FRAT ROCK! aka FRAT ROCK! Vol. 3 - Even More Of The Greatest Rock'N'Roll Party Tunes Of All-Time. Simple math tells us that if the four vinyl volumes of FRAT ROCK! had ten songs each and the three CDs have eighteen songs each, there are fourteen songs "new" to the series. But since The Ultimate Frat Rock Playlist encompasses more than just Rhino's FRAT ROCK! series of albums, only three songs from Grandson Of FRAT ROCK! were added to the playlist though one of those songs "Good Old Rock'N'Roll" is not yet available in Spotify. In fact, two of the greatest frat rock tracks of all-time - "Keep On Dancing" and "Double Shot (Of My Baby's Love)" - are also currently absent from the Spotify library as well after previously being available which is a low-down dirty shame cause "Double Shot" is probably my favorite frat rock tune ever. Fortunately I have the song on at least seven other CDs and have added it to my Spotify library.
In 1998, Rhino gathered the three FRAT ROCK! CDs above and released them as a boxed set. They even threw in a 10 song bonus disc that really had nothing to with frat rock but rather served to promote other Rhino releases, mostly their Atlantic releases.
Rush Week concludes by following Rhino's FRAT ROCK! series into the Seventies and Eighties. Attendance is not mandatory but I hope you'll join us. Bluto will be there.