On this day in music history: September 23, 20…

On this day in music history: September 23, 2003 – “Speakerboxxx/The Love Below”, the fifth album by Outkast is released. Produced by André 3000, Big Boi, Carl Mo, Mr. DJ, Cutmaster Swiff and Dojo5, it is recorded at Stankonia Studios in Atlanta, GA and Larrabee Studios in Los Angeles, CA from September 2001 – September 2003. Following the huge critical and commercial success of their previous album “Stankonia” released in 2000, the Atlanta based rap duo take a year long hiatus before reconvening to work on their fifth release. Recorded over a two year period, the 2 CD/4 LP set is technically two separate albums by Big Boi and André 3000 packaged together under the Outkast name. Musically diverse and eclectic throughout, it features a number of guest artists including Jay-Z, Cee-Lo Green, Norah Jones, Sleepy Brown, Kelis, The Goodie Mob, Li’l Jon, Ludacris, and Rosario Dawson. The album is launched using the unique marketing approach of promoting not one, but two singles simultaneously. The tracks “Hey Ya” and “The Way You Move” are promoted as a double A-sided single. It receives major critical and commercial acclaim upon its release, spinning off five singles including “Hey Ya!” (#1 Pop, #9 R&B) and “The Way You Move” (#1 Pop, #2 R&B) and “Roses” (#9 Pop, #12 R&B). The album also wins the duo three Grammy Awards including Album Of The Year (becoming only the second rap album in history to do so), and Best Rap Album in 2004. “Speakerboxxx/The Love Below” spends five weeks (non-consecutive) at number one on the Billboard Top 200, one week at number one on the R&B album chart, and is certified 11x Platinum in the US by the RIAA, earning a Diamond Certification.

On this day in music history: September 23, 19…

On this day in music history: September 23, 1986 – “Third Stage”, the third album by Boston is released. Produced by Tom Scholz, it is recorded at Hideaway Studios in Boston, MA from Early 1980 – Mid 1986. Over six years in the making, the album is released on MCA Records after a seven year long legal battle with CBS Records. CBS accuse the band of being in breach of contract for taking so many years to deliver their third album, and responds by putting a freeze on royalty payments for their first two albums. Believing that ploy will force Scholz to settle out of court and turn over the album, the guitarist responds by setting up his own company, creating The Rockman compact guitar amplifier. The money earned from the device provides him with income to continue recording, and pay the mounting legal costs generated by the lawsuit. Eventually, the court decides in the bands favor, being awarded millions in back royalties. The decision also releases Boston from their contract with CBS, leaving the band free to sign with MCA. The recording process is long and arduous, due to Tom Scholz’s legendary perfectionism and because of numerous technical setbacks. For the track “Cool The Engines”, Scholz puts it together by recording the drums live and splicing the final track together bar by bar from numerous takes for the final result. During the year spent working on that song, the multi-track tape has been run over the record and playback heads so many times, that the tape begins shedding oxide and sticking to the heads. At one point, an early version of the unfinished song “Amanda” leaks out of the studio in 1984, forcing the band to quickly send a cease and desist letter to stations had been playing it. In spite of the lengthy hiatus, the album is very well received upon its release. It spins off four singles including “Amanda” (#1 Pop), “We’re Ready” (#9 Pop) and “Can’tcha Say (You Believe in Me)/Still In Love” (#20 Pop). “Third Stage” spends four weeks at number one on the Billboard Top 200, and is certified 4x Platinum in the US by the RIAA.

On this day in music history: September 23, 19…

On this day in music history: September 23, 1982 – “The Nylon Curtain”, the eighth album by Billy Joel is released. Produced by Phil Ramone, it is recorded at A&R Recording Studios and Media Sound Studios in New York City from February – June 1982. Coming after the commercial and critical acclaim for his album “Glass Houses” in 1980, Billy Joel follows it in the Fall of 1981 with the live release “Songs In The Attic” recorded during the tour for the previous album. Writing new material during that period, Joel makes plans to return to the studio in early 1982. The creation what becomes “The Nylon Curtain” comes during a period of major upheaval in Joel’s life and career, which sees the end of his first marriage, and being involved in a serious motorcycle accident. Much of the material is more introspective and darker than previous efforts. Several of the songs reflect on the then current state of America under President Ronald Reagan in the early 1980’s, with many facing economic hardship, and seeing the American Dream slipping away from them. Joel’s ambition to create “a sonic masterpiece” leaves him physically and creatively exhausted by the end of the recording process. Joel sites the album as his personal favorite, and the one he is most proud of. It is one of the first digitally recorded (mixed to analog tape) albums by a major artist. It spins off three singles including “Pressure” (#20 Pop), and “Allentown” (#17 Pop). While not as huge sales wise as some of his previous efforts, it receives major acclaim from critics and fans upon its release, and is regarded as one of Billy Joel’s finest works.  Other highlights of the set include “Goodnight Saigon”, addressing the plight of Marines who had served in the Vietnam War, the poor treatment they receive after returning home and coming to terms with they’ve experienced and its aftermath. The “Beatle-esque” “Scandanavian Skies”, “She’s Right On Time” and “Laura” also become favorites of Joel’s devoted fans. The album is remastered on CD for the first time in 1998, and is reissued in 2012 by Mobile Fidelity Sound Lab as a hybrid SACD and in 2014 as a 2 LP 180 gram vinyl LP mastered at 45 RPM. “The Nylon Curtain” peaks at number seven on the Billboard Top 200, and is certified 2x Platinum in the US by the RIAA.

dancequeendq: behindthegrooves: Born on this…

dancequeendq:

behindthegrooves:

Born on this day: September 23, 1930 – “The Genius” Ray Charles (born Ray Charles Robinson in Albany, GA). Happy Birthday to this musical icon on what would have been his 88th Birthday.

Indeed he is an icon 🎶

fredsoulman: Happy birthday to the great la…

fredsoulman:

Happy birthday to the great late Ray Charles.

jazzonthisday:

jazzonthisday:

John Coltrane was born #onthisday in 1926.

Born on this day: September 23, 1949 – Rock mu…

Born on this day: September 23, 1949 – Rock music icon Bruce Springsteen (born Bruce Frederick Joseph Springsteen in Long Branch, NJ). Happy 69th Birthday to “The Boss”!!!

On this day in music history: September 23, 19…

On this day in music history: September 23, 1978 – “Got To Get You Into My Life” by Earth, Wind & Fire hits #1 on the Billboard R&B singles chart for 1 week, also peaking at #9 on the Hot 100 on September 16, 1978. Written by John Lennon and Paul McCartney, it is the fourth chart topping single for the legendary R&B/Funk band led by musician, singer, songwriter and producer Maurice White. In 1977, Earth, Wind & Fire are asked by film director Michael Schultz (“Car Wash”, “Which Way Is Up?”) and producer Robert Stigwood to be part of an ambitious musical film adaptation of The Beatles music. The film in question is “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band”, with the Bee Gees and Peter Frampton leading an all star cast of actors and musicians. After agreeing to record a song and appear in the film, Earth, Wind & Fire are given a choice of two songs. They choose “Got To Get You Into My Life”, from the 1966 album “Revolver”. The Beatles version is belatedly released as a single in 1976, ten years after “Revolver”, to promote the compilation album “Rock ‘N’ Roll Music”. It becomes a surprise hit, peaking at #7 on the Hot 100 on July 24, 1976. Featuring one of the first uses of brass instruments on a Beatles record, the song is a natural for EWF to do, possessing one of the greatest horn sections around in The Phenix Horns (Don Myrick, Louis Sattterfield, Rahmlee Michael Davis, Michael Harris). Not content to do just a straight ahead cover version, bandleader Maurice White and the other members of Earth, Wind & Fire proceed to put their own distinctive and unique musical stamp on The Fab Four’s R&B flavored classic. Just as the band are completing work in their next studio album “All ‘N’ All”, “Got To Get You Into My Life” is recorded at Northstar Studios in Boulder, CO in October of 1977. Following the sessions to cut the song, the band film their performance for “Sgt. Pepper’s”, before embarking on another tour. Chosen as the first single from soundtrack album in July of 1978, it is an immediate smash. However, the film does not fare nearly as well, going down in history as an epic cinematic disaster. Though Earth, Wind & Fire emerge from the carnage completely unscathed, in fact receiving praise for their spirited appearance in the film. The success of EWF’s cover gives them their fourth R&B chart topper, helping the “Sgt. Pepper’s” soundtrack cross the 3x Platinum mark in the US. That album is ironically also regarded as a failure due to RSO Records pressing and shipping over eight million copies, two thirds of which are returned to distributor Polygram within weeks of its release. “Got To Get You Into My Life” is also included on “The Best Of Earth, Wind & Fire Volume 1” in November of 1978, which to date has sold over six million copies in the US alone. “Got To Get You Into My Life” is certified Gold in the US by the RIAA.

On this day in music history: September 23, 19…

On this day in music history: September 23, 1977 – “Feels So Good”, the thirteenth album by Chuck Mangione is released. Produced by Chuck Mangione, it is recorded at Kendun Recorders in Burbank, CA from May – July 1977. Coming off the successful “Main Squeeze” album the previous year, musician Chuck Mangione returns to the studio in the Spring of 1977 to record his fourth album for A&M Records. Having worked with an ever changing line up of musicians throughout his career, Mangione assembles a new group of players for his next album. He recruits jazz guitarist “General” Grant Geissman (a former side man with big band legends Stan Kenton, Gerald Wilson and Louie Bellson), after the guitarist backs Mangione at a live gig in late 1976. Also coming on board is James “Jail-Bait” Bradley, Jr., an L.A. session drummer and former child prodigy that has been playing since the age of four, and is just barely out of high school when he joins the band. Saxophonist and fluteist Chris “Vadala” Vadala and bassist Charles “Meat-Man” Meeks (having previously backed Patrice Rushen, Earl Klugh, Sonny Rollins, Alphonse Mouzon and Lee Ritenour to name a few) complete the line up. The new group clicks instantly in the studio and recording goes smoothly and quickly. Initially released without a single, the album sells well out of the box until A&M decides to issue the breezy title track as a single in January of 1978. A&M takes the nine and a half minute plus “Feels So Good” (#4 Pop, #1 AC, #68 R&B), and drastically edits it down to under three and a half minutes. With 1978 being the pinnacle of the disco era, and the Bee Gees leading the charge, no one is able to predict the impact the jazz/pop instrumental will have. Radio programmers looking for an alternative to what else is happening at the time, begin adding it to their playlists. It catches on with listeners and becomes a surprise smash in multiple radio formats. By the Spring of 1978, sales of the album are exploding, as it rapidly moves toward the top of the jazz and pop album charts. Its massive success makes Mangione a huge star in the US and internationally. The albums cover photo of the musician embracing his trademark flugelhorn (taken by photographer Benno Friedman), becomes a 70’s icon. The single also receives a Grammy nomination for Record Of The Year in 1979. In later years, “Feels So Good” becomes the subject of a long running gag on the animated TV series “King Of The Hill” with Chuck Mangione appearing as himself, playing snippets of the song in various scenarios. Mangione’s signature brown felt hat worn on the album cover, is donated to the Smithsonian Institute in 2009, along with the original handwritten sheet music for the title track. “Feels So Good” spends two weeks at number two on the Billboard Top 200, spending seven weeks at number one on the Jazz album chart, and is certified 2x Platinum in the US by the RIAA.

On this day in music history: September 23, 19…

On this day in music history: September 23, 1977 – “Aja”, the sixth album by Steely Dan is released. Produced by Gary Katz, it is recorded at Village Recorders in West Los Angeles, CA, Producer’s Workshop, ABC Recording Studios, Sound Labs in Hollywood, CA, Warner Bros Recording Studios in North Hollywood, CA, and A&R Studios in New York City from January – July 1977. Following the critically and commercially successful “The Royal Scam”, Steely Dan record what becomes the most musically ambitious and biggest selling album of their career. Walter Becker and Donald Fagen work with a team of top notch studio musicians on project including Chuck Rainey (bass), Bernard Purdie, Jim Keltner, Steve Gadd, Paul Humphrey, Rick Marotta (drums), Joe Sample, Victor Feldman, Paul Griffin, Michael Omartian (keyboards), Larry Carlton, Dean Parks, Denny Dias, Jay Graydon, Steve Khan (guitars), Tom Scott, Wayne Shorter (saxophones), Venetta Fields, Shirlie Matthews, Clydie King, Rebecca Louis, and Michael McDonald (background vocals). The albums title comes from the name of a Korean woman married to the brother of one of Donald Fagen’s high school friends. The elegant and enigmatic cover photo (taken by photographer Hideki Fujii) is of Japanese fashion model Sayoko Yamaguchi. The albums’ seamless blend of jazz and R&B influenced pop resonates with the public and critics alike. It spins off three singles including “Peg” (#11 Pop), “Deacon Blues” (#19 Pop) and “Josie” (#26 Pop). A favorite of audiophiles for many years for its meticulous production and outstanding sonics, the album is remastered and reissued numerous times on vinyl and CD by specialty labels like Mobile Fidelity Sound Lab, Cisco Music and MCA Records. In the late 90’s, plans to re-release “Aja” with new a 5.1 surround mix as had been done previously for “Gaucho”, have to be scrapped when it is discovered that the 24-track multi-track masters for “Black Cow” and the title track are missing from Universal Music’s tape archive. To date, the masters have not been found. The album is most recently remastered and reissued as a high resolution DSD UHQCD by Universal Japan in June of 2018. In 2011, “Aja” is added to the United States National Recording Registry of The Library Of Congress, as being deemed culturally, historically and aesthetically important. “Aja” peaks at number three on the Billboard Top 200, and is certified 5x Platinum in the US by the RIAA.