This has me excited. I've always liked ZZ Top, especially their biggest hits, and Rick Rubin has done well with Johnny Cash, Neil Diamond, Tom Petty and hopefully on the new Metallica album. Of course, not everything he touches is a huge success, but this seems like a good combination.
Rick Rubin is awesome because he understands what people do well and then has them do that. Seems like an obvious enough move, but most people seem to overthink things. He's like the Paul Heyman of the music industry. (911, you're a giant sonuvabitch who can't wrestle but does a good chokeslam. You're going to just come out, be a giant sonuvabitch and chokeslam people. Johnny Cash, you possess perhaps the most pure and emotionally rich voice in music history. We're going to strip away the orchestration and theatrics and just record you with a guitar. Same principle.)
I'm a little skeptical, because Rick Rubin's been working with some bands that you wouldn't necessarily picture him with, and not always with the best results. Rick Rubin's collaboration with Linkin Park was disastrous, in my opinion. But if Jay-Z's "99 Problems" have taught me anything, it's that Rubin's still capable of magic, so we'll see where this goes. Here's hoping for the best.
iTunes Top Downloads -- October 23, 2011 This is a moment in time snapshot of the current top downloads from iTunes. We take a snapshot each week at the same time and post it here. To preview the songs, click on a link.