On this day in music history: April 23, 1991…

On this day in music history: April 23, 1991 – “Ain’t No Future In Yo’ Frontin’” by MC Breed & DFC is released. Written by Eric Breed, Herman Lang, Schzelle S. Harris, Roger Troutman and The Ohio Players. Born and raised in the city of Flint, MI, Eric Breed begins performing professionally in 1990. Possessing a distinctive voice and flow, Breed quickly makes an impression that begins attracting attention outside of his home town. The rapper along with his crew the DFC (standing for “Da Flint Crew”) are signed to S.D.E.G. Records (distributed by Atlanta based Ichiban Records), owned by blues and R&B musician Swamp Dogg. Beginning work on their debut album, among the songs cut by the group is the track “Ain’t No Future In Yo’ Frontin’”. Based around samples of the ubiquitous funk classics “More Bounce To The Ounce” by Zapp and the Ohio Players’ “Funky Worm” (with vocal samples of Flavor Flav from Public Enemy’s “B-Side Wins Again”), the beat is produced using an E-mu SP-1200 sampler and drum machine. The simple but insistent loops, topped by Breed’s gritty rhymes about keeping it real proves to be a highly potent combination. When their self titled debut album is released in early 1991, the song immediately begins drawing a response in various regions of the country, driving the album on to the Billboard R&B album chart soon after. Ichiban finally responds to requests from DJ’s and the public to release “Ain’t No Future In Yo’ Frontin’” as a single, it begins getting radio play via college radio and mix shows. From there, a ground swell from the street grows louder throughout the Summer. A low budget clip is shot, and begins receiving play on “Yo! MTV Raps!” and BET. “Ain’t No Future In Yo’ Frontin’” sells over 800,000 copies, peaking at #12 on the Billboard Rap singles chart, and even charting on the Hot 100 where it peaks at #66 in January of 1992. In all, a remarkable feat for a record released on a small independent label with nearly no mainstream radio support. The songs success leads MC Breed to release more than a dozen albums over the next decade and a half, including collaborating with 2Pac on the hit “Gotta Get Mine” (#6 Rap) and other collaborations with west coast based rappers Too Short and Richie Rich. Sadly, Breed’s life comes to an abrupt and sudden end on November 22, 2008, when he dies of kidney failure. He is only thirty seven years old at the time of his passing. “Ain’t No Future In Yo’ Frontin’” is certified Gold in the US by the RIAA.

Help support the Behind The Grooves music blog with a donation by clicking on the link at: PayPal.Me/jharris1228

On this day in music history: April 23, 1988 -…

On this day in music history: April 23, 1988 – “Da’Butt” by E.U. hits #1 on the Billboard R&B singles chart for 1 week, also peaking at #35 on the Hot 100 on May 21, 1988. Written by Marcus Miller and Mark Stevens, it is the biggest hit for the Washington DC based go-go band fronted by lead singer and bassist Gregory “Sugarbear” Eliot. The song is featured in the Spike Lee directed film “School Daze”. Lee calls on bassist, songwriter and producer Marcus Miller to write “a party song” for a scene in his film. Miller collaborate with singer/songwriter Mark Stevens (brother of singer Chaka Khan) of The Jamaica Boys, and then cut the track with the Washington DC based go-go band Experience Unlimited (aka E.U.). To add “atmosphere” to the song, Miller has Spike Lee invite the entire cast of the film to the studio, and have a party during the recording session. E.U. also appear in the film, performing the song. Lee also directs the music video that accompanies the song.

Help support the Behind The Grooves music blog with a donation by clicking on the link at: PayPal.Me/jharris1228

On this day in music history: April 23, 1988 -…

On this day in music history: April 23, 1988 – “Where Do Broken Hearts Go” by Whitney Houston hits #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 for 2 weeks, topping the Adult Contemporary chart for 3 weeks on April 2, 1988, and peaking at #2 on the R&B singles chart. Written by Frank Wildhorn and Chuck Jackson, it is the seventh chart topper on the pop singles chart for the New Jersey born superstar vocalist. Initially opposed to recording the song, Whitney cuts it at on the recommendation of Arista Records chief Clive Davis, who feels it will be a hit. Released as the fourth single from Houston’s second album “Whitney” in early February of 1988, it quickly becomes another smash. Entering the Hot 100 at #47 on February 27, 1988, it climbs to the top of the chart eight weeks later. “Where Do Broken Hearts Go” makes history when it becomes Whitney Houston’s seventh consecutive number one pop single, and becomes the first female artist in history, to pull four chart topping singles from the same album.

Help support the Behind The Grooves music blog with a donation by clicking on the link at: PayPal.Me/jharris1228

On this day in music history: April 23, 1983 -…

On this day in music history: April 23, 1983 – “Come On Eileen” by Dexys Midnight Runners hits #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 for 1 week. Written by Kevin Adams, Jimmy Patterson and Kevin Rowland, it is the biggest hit for the Birmingham, UK based pop band fronted by lead singer Kevin Rowland. The Celtic influenced pop song is influenced by remembrances of Kevin Rowland’s childhood girlfriend, and how the nature of their relationship changed while growing up together. Born into a very religious Irish Catholic family, Rowland often felt guilt and ambivalence, over how his feelings for his girlfriend had evolved from purely platonic, to being more sexual in nature. The songs memorable music video filmed in the Kennington district of South London is directed by Julien Temple (“The Great Rock N’ Roll Swindle”, “Absolute Beginners”) and features Máire Fahey (also pictured on the single sleeve), the sister of Siohban Fahey of Bananarama and Shakespeare’s Sister, as lead singer Kevin Rowland’s girlfriend “Eileen”. Released in the UK first in the Summer of 1982, it is an immediate hit rocketing straight to number one spending four weeks at the top. The single is released in the US five months later in December of 1982. Entering the Hot 100 at #79 on January 22, 1983, it climbs to the top of the chart thirteen weeks later. Regarded as one of the quintessential songs of the 80’s, “Eileen” is covered by Save Ferris in 1994, with the original version being featured in the films “Tommy Boy”, “Get Him To The Greek” and “The Perks Of Being A Wallflower”. “Come On Eileen” is certified Gold in the US by the RIAA.

Help support the Behind The Grooves music blog with a donation by clicking on the link at: PayPal.Me/jharris1228

On this day in music history: April 23, 1977 -…

On this day in music history: April 23, 1977 – “The Pride (Part 1)” by The Isley Brothers hits #1 on the Billboard R&B singles chart for 1 week, also peaking at #63 on the Hot 100 on May 28, 1977. Written by Rudolph Isley, O’Kelly Isley, Ronald Isley, Chris Jasper, Ernie Isley and Marvin Isley, it is the third R&B chart topper for the family sextet from Cincinnati, OH. Keyboardist Chris Jasper comes up with the initial idea and basic structure of the song. The track is cut at Bearsville Studios in near Woodstock, NY in November 1976. Released as the first single from The Isley Brothers’ fifteenth studio album “Go For Your Guns”, it is an immediate hit on R&B radio. It is also the first Isleys single to be issued as a commercially released 12" (b/w “Hope You Feel Better Love” from “The Heat Is On” album). Though “The Pride” is another R&B chart topper, surprisingly it fails to become a major pop crossover hit. However, it helps to continue the bands streak of million selling albums. It propels the “Go For Your Guns” album to number one on the Billboard R&B album chart (for one week), to number six on the Top 200 in the Spring of 1977, and to Platinum status in the US.

Help support the Behind The Grooves music blog with a donation by clicking on the link at: PayPal.Me/jharris1228

On this day in music history: April 23, 1977 -…

On this day in music history: April 23, 1977 – “Don’t Leave Me This Way” by Thelma Houston hits #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 for 1 week, also topping the R&B singles chart for 1 week on February 19, 1977. Written by Kenny Gamble, Leon Huff and Cary Gilbert, it is the biggest hit for the R&B vocalist from Leland, MS. Signed to Motown Records since 1971, singer Thelma Houston’s self-titled first album for the label is met with only minimal sales. Believing in her talent, the label sticks by her, featuring her on the soundtrack to the Motown produced film “The Bingo Long Traveling All-Stars & Motor Kings” in 1976. The same year, she records her third album “Any Way You Like It” with producer Hal Davis (The Jackson 5, Diana Ross). While at a party, Davis hears the song “Don’t Leave Me This Way” by Harold Melvin & The Blue Notes, featuring Teddy Pendergrass on lead vocals. With Pendergrass’ gospel inflected vocals on the song, and with Houston also having a rich, soulful voice, the producer decides it is a perfect fit for his artist. Playing the song for her, Houston agrees, and they go into the studio to record it. When “Any Way You Like It” is released in October of 1976, initially no single is released from it, as Motown has released the song “One Out Of Every Six”, a song from the comedy “Norman, Is That You?” in September. Meanwhile, club DJ’s serviced with Houston’s new album hear “Don’t Leave Me This Way” and immediately single it out for play. The song is an instant sensation is discos around the country, leading Motown to release it as a single in November of 1976. Entering the Hot 100 at #85 on December 18, 1976, it takes a long, slow climb up the chart, reaching the top eighteen weeks later. Thelma Houston wins a Grammy Award for Best Female R&B Vocal Performance in 1978. Long regarded as one of the greatest songs of the Disco Era, “Don’t Leave Me This Way” becomes an anthem and rallying cry in the gay community during the height of the HIV/AIDS pandemic in the 1980’s and 90’s, becoming a pop cultural touchstone. In 1986, British Hi-NRG dance duo The Communards cover the song, taking it to the top of the UK singles chart for four weeks, and peaking at #40 on the Hot 100. “Don’t Leave Me This Way” is also inducted into the Dance Music Hall Of Fame in 2004.

Help support the Behind The Grooves music blog with a donation by clicking on the link at: PayPal.Me/jharris1228

On this day in music history: April 23, 1976 -…

On this day in music history: April 23, 1976 – “Ramones”, the debut album by the Ramones is released. Produced by Craig Leon, it is recorded at Plaza Sound, Radio City Music Hall in New York City from February 2 – 19, 1976. Fixtures on the New York punk rock scene since forming in 1974, the Ramones come to the attention of Sire Records A&R man Craig Leon (Blondie, Joshua Bell), through their manager Danny Fields, by way of a demo album the band records with producer Marty Thau. Leon signs the band to the label in November of 1975. The first album by Forest Hills, Queens, NY punk quartet is recorded in just seven days (spread over a two week period) for a cost of $6,400. Consisting of both covers and originals, it is widely praised by rock critics and the Ramones solid fan base. The album goes on to help define and popularize the punk music genre and culture, inspiring and influencing numerous bands and artists that follow in their wake. The album is remastered and reissued in 2001 with eight additional bonus tracks added, including demo versions and the single mix of “Blitzkrieg Bop”. It is also reissued as a 180 gram vinyl LP in 2011, pressed on blue vinyl with a bonus 7" of “I Wanna Be Your Boyfriend” b/w “California Sun/I Don’t Wanna Walk Around With You” that is limited to only 500 copies. To commemorate the album’s fortieth anniversary in 2016, it is released as a limited three CD + LP Deluxe Edition. The CD’s include stereo and mono mixes of the original album on disc one, with the second disc containing outtakes and demos. Disc three features two live performances recorded at the Roxy Theater in Los Angeles, CA on August 12, 1976. The set also comes with a 180 gram vinyl LP featuring the mono mix of the album, and a 12" x 12" hardbound book with photos and extensive liner notes. The anniversary box is remastered by Sean Magee and Sam Okell, and executive produced by Bill Inglot. “Ramones” peaks at number one hundred eleven on the Billboard Top 200.

Help support the Behind The Grooves music blog with a donation by clicking on the link at: PayPal.Me/jharris1228

On this day in music history: April 23, 1976 -…

On this day in music history: April 23, 1976 – “Black And Blue”, the thirteenth (fifteenth in the US) album by The Rolling Stones is released. Produced by The Glimmer Twins (Mick Jagger & Keith Richards), it is recorded at Musicland Studios in Munich, Germany and with The Rolling Stones Mobile Studio in Rotterdam, NL, Mountain Studios in Montreaux, Switzerland, and Atlantic Studios in New York City from December 1974 – February 1976. Recorded during numerous sessions held over a year and a half, The Stones begin by recording in Munich (where their previous album “It’s Only Rock & Roll” had been recorded), continue the sessions in The Netherlands, Switzerland, and concluding in the US. Much of the recording takes place while the band are searching for a replacement for guitarist Mick Taylor who had quit in late 1974. The Stones finally settle on former Faces guitarist Ron Wood who officially joins in 1975. It spins off two singles including “Fool To Cry” (#10 Pop) and “Hot Stuff” (#49 Pop). Originally released on CD in 1986, it is first remastered and reissued in 1994, and is subsequently reissued in 2005, 2009 and in Japan in 2014 as a hi-rez SACD. In and out of print on vinyl since its original release, it is most recently issued as a 180 gram LP in 2018, as part of the box set “The Rolling Stones – Studio Albums Vinyl Collection (1971 – 2016). "Black And Blue” spends four weeks (non-consecutive) at number one on the Billboard Top 200, and is certified Platinum in the US by the RIAA.

Help support the Behind The Grooves music blog with a donation by clicking on the link at: PayPal.Me/jharris1228

On this day in music history: April 23, 1971 -…

On this day in music history: April 23, 1971 – “Sticky Fingers”, the ninth album (eleventh in the US) album by The Rolling Stones is released. Produced by Jimmy Miller, it is recorded at Muscle Shoals Sound in Sheffield, AL, Stargroves in East Woodhay, Hampshire, UK with The Rolling Stones Mobile Studio, and Olympic Studios in London from December 1969 – January 1971. After seven years with their former label Decca Records and free from former manager Allen Klein, The Rolling Stones begin to regroup as the new decade begins. Signing a deal with Atlantic Records in the US (and EMI throughout the rest of the world), they begin work on the follow up to their previous studio album “Let It Bleed”. Following in the bluesy rock vein of their two previous albums (“Beggar’s Banquet” and “Let It Bleed”), it also features a number of guest musicians including Billy Preston, Nicky Hopkins, Jack Nitszche (keyboards), and Ry Cooder (guitar). “Sticky Fingers” is an artistic and commercial triumph upon its release, being widely regarded as one of their best. The albums iconic cover art is designed by artist Andy Warhol (graphic artist Craig Braun, photographer Billy Name), with the cover photo featuring a waist to knees shot in jeans of a Warhol Factory actor/model (speculated to be everyone from Jet Johnson, Corey Tippin, or Joe Dallesandro) that includes a working zipper. The metal zippers actually cause a problem with records being damaged during shipping, but the problem is solved by simply shipping them with the zipper being pulled down, pressing against the label area instead of the vinyl surface. The album is also the first to include the now familiar “lips and tongue” logo (designed by graphic artist Ernie Cefalu) that becomes the bands trademark. Reissued various times over the years, the album is remastered and reissued as a double CD, with the second disc featuring alternate takes and live performances from a concert recorded in 1971. In and out of print on vinyl since its original release, it is most recently issued as a 180 gram LP in 2018, as part of the box set “The Rolling Stones – Studio Albums Vinyl Collection (1971 – 2016). “Sticky Fingers” spends four weeks at number one on the Billboard Top 200, and is certified 3x Platinum in the US by the RIAA.

Help support the Behind The Grooves music blog with a donation by clicking on the link at: PayPal.Me/jharris1228

On this day in music history: April 23, 1969 -…

On this day in music history: April 23, 1969 – “With A Little Help From My Friends”, the debut album by Joe Cocker is released. Produced by Denny Cordell, it is recorded at Olympic and Trident Studios in London circa early 1968. The first album by the Sheffield, UK born rock vocalist features musical support from musicians such as Jimmy Page, Steve Winwood, Albert Lee, Henry McCullough, as well as L.A. studio veterans like Carol Kaye, Paul Humphrey and vocalists Merry Clayton, Madeline Bell and Brenda & Patrice Holloway. It spins off two singles including a cover of the Dave Mason penned “Feelin’ Alright” (#69 Pop) and the title track (#68 Pop). The latter’s striking rearrangement provides Cocker with his commercial breakthrough. The single release of “With A Little Help From My Friends” is inducted into the Grammy Hall Of Fame in 2001. The song is also used as the theme song for the long running series “The Wonder Years”. The album is remastered and reissued on CD in 1999, with two additional bonus tracks added. It is remastered again and reissued as a hybrid SACD disc in 2015. “With A Little Help From My Friends” peaks at number thirty five on the Billboard Top 200, and is certified Gold In the US by the RIAA.

Help support the Behind The Grooves music blog with a donation by clicking on the link at: PayPal.Me/jharris1228