Here are the week's best releases from the pop-culture universe:

Summer of Love the Emotions Altered States great TV cartoons Janis Joplin Creedence Clearwater Revisited
CD -- Love Is the Song We Sing: San Francisco Nuggets 1965-1970: This four-disc box celebrates the 40th anniversary of the Summer of Love with more than 75 relics by bong-toking hippies. A few songs (like Jefferson Airplane's "White Rabbit" and the Youngbloods' "Get Together") dented the Top 40. But the best cuts -- Count Five's "Psychotic Reaction," Moby Grape's "Omaha" -- lift the veil and reveal some truly brutal noise under all the peace talk.

CD -- Get Ready, Here Come . . . the '70s: Make no mistake: Plenty of crap came out during the Me Decade. But there were lots of rock and pop classics minted during the era too. This three-disc box piles on the gems -- like Rod Stewart's "Maggie May" and the Emotions' "Best of My Love," for starters. A few of the 57 tracks are forgettable (Janis Ian's "At Seventeen") or just plain nauseating (Climax's "Precious and Few"). Most, however, are Dyn-O-Mite!

BOOK -- Phallic Frenzy: Ken Russell and His Films: Russell made some of the most fucked-up movies of the '70s, including The Devils, Tommy, and Altered States. Writer Joseph Lanza probes the British filmmaker and his obsession with sexual imagery. Sometimes it wasn't merely symbolic. Russell incorporated full-frontal nudity in many of his mainstream films, including critical fave Women in Love -- whose stars, according to Lanza, compared their dick sizes between scenes.

DVD -- South Park: The Complete Tenth Season: All 14 episodes from last season's Emmy-nominated run are included on this three-disc set. Creators Trey Parker and Matt Stone offer commentary on all of them. The Cartman-centered "Tsst" generates the biggest laughs. But best is "Make Love, Not Warcraft," which shoves a double-bladed sword into the heart of the mega-popular role-playing game. It's pop-culture commentary at its sharpest.

DVD -- This Is Tom Jones: Rock 'N' Roll Legends: The tight-trouser-sportin' Welshman's TV show from the late '60s was filled with bad jokes, miniskirted girls, and countless performances of Jones' signature hit, "It's Not Unusual." This three-disc set compiles nine episodes (unfortunately, not all are complete), which feature searing appearances by Aretha Franklin, Janis Joplin, and the Who. At least he had good taste.

COURTESY FLUSH, PLEASE -- Bad Moon Rising: The Unauthorized History of Creedence Clearwater Revival: Unauthorized bios rarely land on neutral ground. Things get even more complicated when you mix in former bandmates who hate their old boss' guts and start their own group with a similar-sounding name (in this case, Creedence Clearwater Revisited). Hank Bordowitz's book contains a lot of "he said-he said" moments and plenty of historical background. But it never really conveys the durability of CCR's music.

Scroll to read more Local Music articles


Join Cleveland Scene Newsletters

Subscribe now to get the latest news delivered right to your inbox.