Category: alternative rock

twixnmix:

Damon Albarn and Ike Turner at the Mojo Awards in 2007

Albarn presented Turner with the Legend Award. They collaborated on the song 

“Every Planet We Reach Is Dead” from the 2005 Gorillaz album Demon Days.

On this day in music history: October 10, 2007 – “In Rainbows”, the seventh album by Radiohead is released. Produced by Nigel Godrich, it is recorded at Canned Applause in Didcot, Oxfordshire, UK, Tottenham House in Marlborough, Wiltshire, UK, Halswell House in Taunton, Somerset, UK and Hospital Studios in Covent Garden, Westminster, UK in from February 2005 – June 2007. Fulfilling their contract with EMI Records in 2003 with “Hail To The Thief”, Radiohead follow it with a world tour. The band then take an extended hiatus. Re-grouping in early 2005, it is without their long time producer Nigel Godrich who is busy at the time working with Beck. The band then hire producer Mark “Spike” Stent, best known for his work with U2 and Björk. After a year in the studio, the producer goes over the material, and bluntly tells them the songs “aren’t good enough”. They break ties with Stent, then embark on their first tour in over two years, also using the shows to test new material written during this time. In October of 2006, the band reconnect with Godrich and work resumes on their seventh album, quickly putting them back on the right path. Feeling that “Hail To The Thief” was over long, they pare the work in progress down to the best ten songs. When recording wraps in the late Spring of 2007, there comes the task of how to release their new album. Titled “In Rainbows”, Radiohead take the unprecedented step of issuing it as a “pay what your want” MP3 digital download for exactly two months prior to the physical release. Though receiving some criticism for the move, it is enthusiastically received by the public, selling over 1.2 million digital downloads. Along side the standard single CD and vinyl LP release, it’s made available as a mail order only limited box set that contains the standard ten song CD, a bonus CD with eight additional tracks, and enhanced content with artwork, photos and song lyrics. The lavish “discbox” package also includes a double vinyl LP set mastered at 45 RPM. Issued in the UK through XL Recordings and in the US on TBD Records through Red Distribution in early December of 2007, It enters the UK and US album charts at #1, making it only the tenth indie distributed album to top the charts in the US. It receives seven Grammy nominations in 2009, winning two awards for Best Alternative Album and Best Special Limited Edition Package for the limited release. It makes history and proves to be a game changer, showing an album can be successfully marketed and promoted without major record label support. The Eagles also follow suit, issuing their album “Long Road Out Of Eden” through mass market retailer Wal-Mart, rather than through a major label with similar success. “In Rainbows” spends one week at number one on the Billboard Top 200, and is certified Gold in the US by the RIAA.

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On this day in music history: October 8, 1991 – “Badmotorfinger”, the third album by Soundgarden is released. Produced Soundgarden and Terry Date, it is recorded at Studio D in Sausalito, CA, Bear Creek Studios in Woodinville, WA, and A&M Studios in Hollywood, CA from March – April 1991. The Seattle based bands second major label album is the first to feature new bassist Ben Shepherd, replacing Jason Everman (who leaves to join Mind Funk). it spins off three singles including “Outshined”, “Rusty Cage” and “Jesus Christ Pose”. The album becomes their most successful to date and helps break the grunge rock movement from its cult underground following into mainstream popularity. When Soundgarden lands a slot on the second Lollapalooza Tour in 1992, the album adds a limited edition five song EP titled “Satanoscillatemymetallicsonatas” (or SOMMS) featuring covers of rock and new wave classics. The album also receives a Grammy nomination for Best Metal Performance in 1992, with their cover of Black Sabbath’s “Into The Void (Sealth)” on the “SOMMS” EP receiving a nomination in the same category in 1993. To commemorate the twenty fifth anniversary of the albums’ release, it is remastered and reissued in November of 2016. It is reissued as a standard single CD, a two disc deluxe edition and as an elaborate limited Super Deluxe box set edition. The box contains three CD’s with the first two consisting of the original twelve song album and sixteen bonus tracks. The third disc features a full live performance recorded at the Paramount Theater in Seattle, WA on March 6, 1992. The full concert is also included on a DVD packaged with the set, and a second DVD featuring the “Motorvision” home video release from 1992, originally issued only on VHS tape. It also includes additional live performances, with the original music videos for “Outshined”, “Rusty Cage” and “Jesus Christ Pose”. The final disc is a Blu-ray disc including the full album in high resolution audio and remixed into 5.1 surround sound. The lavish box also comes with a fifty two page booklet, fully annotated with rare photos and new artwork. Other collectible artifacts come with the set, which is housed in a 14" x 14" box that comes emblazoned with the album cover logo which is battery powered and spins when switched on. The album is also reissued as a double 180 gram vinyl LP set. “Badmotorfinger” peaks at number thirty nine on the Billboard Top 200, and is certified 2x Platinum in the US by the RIAA.

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On this day in music history: September 24, 1991 – “Blood Sugar Sex Magik”, the fifth album by the Red Hot Chili Peppers is released. Produced by Rick Rubin, it is recorded at The Mansion in Los Angeles, CA from May – June 1991. Making the jump from their former long time label EMI-America, it is the bands first album for Warner Bros Records. Initially, the band were going to sign with Epic Records, but pull out of the deal at the last minute when negotiations with the label end up lasting several months. When lead singer Anthony Kiedis has a chance meeting with Warner Bros chairman Mo Ostin that is a major turning point in the bands decision not to sign with Sony Music. Working with Def Jam/Def American Records founder Rick Rubin, The Chili Peppers record the album in a mansion once owned by magician Harry Houdini. All of the band members live in the house for the during of the recording, except for drummer Chad Smith who refuses, when he believes that the house is haunted. The sessions are highly productive and set the stage for the bands long awaited mainstream breakthrough. It spins off four singles including “Give It Away” (#73 Pop, #1 Modern Rock) “Under The Bridge” (#2 Pop, #6 Modern Rock), “Suck My Kiss” (#15 Modern Rock), and  "Breaking The Girl" (#19 Modern Rock), becoming their most successful album. The recording sessions are also filmed and released as hour long documentary titled “Funky Monks” in 1991. US promo CD copies of the album are issued with a full four color silkscreen label, of different breeds of red roses on a solid white background. Stock copies are issued with two color silkscreen printing, of the artist name and title written in a circle around the perimeter of the disc. Originally issued on vinyl in the US as a promo only double LP and commercially in Europe, it is remastered and reissued as a limited edition LP vinyl set, pressed on red vinyl for Black Friday Record Store Day in 2011. It is also issued on standard black vinyl in 2012. “Blood Sugar Sex Magik” peaks at number three on the Billboard Top 200, and is certified 7x Platinum in US by the RIAA.

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On this day in music history: September 24, 1991 – “Nevermind”, the second album by Nirvana is released. Produced by Butch Vig, it is recorded at Sound City Studios in Van Nuys, CA, Smart Studios in Madison, WI and Devonshire Studios in North Hollywood, CA from April 1990, May – June 1991. Releasing their debut album “Bleach” on Seattle based indie label Sub Pop in 1989, Nirvana are disappointed when it sells only 40,000 copies initially. Deciding that the only way to reach a wider audience is to sign with a major label, the band are courted by several labels, but eventually sign with Geffen Records subsidiary DGC Records. Working previously with engineer and producer Butch Vig in 1990, he is chosen to produced their second album. With exception of the track “Polly” (recorded at Smart Studios in Madison, WI in April 1990), the bulk of Nirvana’s major label debut is recorded in Southern California during the Spring of 1991. When the album is originally mastered, engineer Howie Weinberg accidentally leaves off the final track “Endless, Nameless”, which was tacked on the end of the master tape, proceeded by ten minutes of blank leader tape in between. The mistake isn’t caught until after the first press run of CD’s and cassettes are manufactured. The first 20,000 copies of “Nevermind” exclude the hidden track, but is corrected on all future pressings. When it is released, initial expectations are low with only 46,251 copies being shipped. Thanks to the breakout success of “Smells Like Teen Spirit” (#6 Pop), the album reaches gold status in under thirty days, and platinum two weeks after that. It spends two weeks at number one on the Billboard Top 200 on January 11, 1992. The massive and unexpected success of the album affects a major sea change in not only the music industry, but in popular culture with the rise of the grunge music phenomenon of the early to mid 90’s. To commemorate the twentieth anniversary of its release in 2011, “Nevermind” is remastered and reissued as a four CD + DVD deluxe edition. Reissued on vinyl numerous times since its initial limited release in 1991, it is most recently remastered and released as a 180 gram LP in 2017. Another limited edition LP, pressed on grey vinyl is issued as an exclusive through big box retailer Target in 2019. “Nevermind” is certified 10x Platinum in the US by the RIAA, receiving a Diamond Certification.

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On this day in music history: September 5, 1988 – “Peepshow”, the ninth album by Siouxsie & The Banshees is released. Produced by Siouxsie And The Banshees and Mike Hedges, it is recorded at Marcus Recording Studios in London from January – March 1988. The pioneering British post punk/goth rock bands first album of all new material in over two years, it is the first to introduce new members keyboardist Martin McCarrick and guitarist Jon Klein who replace guitarist and keyboardist John Valentine Carruthers. It spins off three singles including “The Killing Jar” (#2 Modern Rock) and the innovative, backwards masking track “Peek-a-Boo” (#1 Modern Rock, #53 Pop) which is the first single to top the newly established Modern Rock chart in Billboard Magazine. The songs chorus quote from the 30’s Tin Pan Alley pop song “Jeepers Creepers” (written by Harry Warren and Johnny Mercer), resulting in the band giving the authors a co-writing credit to avoid legal action. “Peek-a-Boo” is also supported by a visually striking music video, becoming an MTV favorite, breaking out from the channels alternative rock program “120 Minutes” into heavier rotation. The album is remastered and reissued on CD in 2014, with three additional bonus tracks. Out of print on vinyl since its original release, it is remastered and reissued as a 180 gram LP in December of 2018. “Peepshow” peaks at number sixty eight on the Billboard Top 200 becoming the bands second highest charting album in the US.

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On this day in music history: August 27, 1991 – “Ten”, the debut album by Pearl Jam is released. Produced by Rick Parashar and Pearl Jam, it is recorded at London Bridge Studios in Seattle, WA from March 27 – April 26, 1991. Formed out of the ashes of bassist Jeff Ament and guitarist Stone Gossards’ former band Mother Love Bone, the new band record their first album in just one month, Initially, the album gets off to a very slow start, languishing in record stores for many months until they pick up support from college radio and from touring relentlessly in support of it. It eventually spins off a total of five singles including “Alive” (#16 Mainstream Rock), “Evenflow” (#3 Mainstream Rock) and “Jeremy” (#5 Mainstream Rock). The success of the album establishes them among the most high profile of the grunge rock movement spearheaded by bands such as Nirvana, Soundgarden, and Alice In Chains. In 2009, “Ten” is reissued in four different editions including a remastered version of the original album, Deluxe, Vinyl and Super Deluxe edition with a bonus DVD of the band’s MTV Unplugged performance from 1992. It is remastered and reissued as a double vinyl LP set in 2014 (featuring the original and remixed versions of the album) on coke bottle green clear vinyl limited to 2,000 copies, as an exclusive through Pearl Jam’s fan club, and retailer Newbury Comics. “Ten” spends four weeks at number two (non-consecutive) on the Billboard Top 200, and is certified 13x Platinum in the US by the RIAA, earning a Diamond Certification.

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On this day in music history: August 23, 1994 – “Without A Sound”, the sixth album by Dinosaur, Jr. is released. Produced by J. Mascis, it is recorded at Dreamland Wendell Recording Studios, Sear Sound and Baby Monster Studios in New York City in Early 1994.  Formed in 1984 by Guitarist J. Mascis after his hardcore punk band Deep Wound splits after only two releases, Dinosaur Jr. is musically eclectic from the outset. Playing a unique hybrid of hardcore punk, garage rock, heavy metal, goth rock, folk rock and country rock, the band release their first album “Dinosaur” in 1985. Their profile is heightened when they’re befriended by the members of Sonic Youth, who recruit Dinosaur Jr. as their opening act in the Fall of 1986. Over the next four years, the band develop a loyal following through their next two albums “You’re Living All Over Me” and “Bug”, released on legendary indie rock label SST Records. Touring the same indie rock circuit and receiving support from bands like Nirvana, Mascis is actually asked by Kurt Cobain to join his band in 1989. Though Mascis declines the offer, he and Cobain become firm friends with Nirvana singing Dinosaur Jr.’s praises during their own rise to fame. By the early 90’s, Dinosaur attracts major label interest and are signed to Warner Bros. distributed Sire Records, issuing their major label debut “Green Mind” in 1991. With the band’s line up shifting constantly since bassist Lou Barlow’s ouster in 1989, by the time they record their fifth album “Where You Been” in 1993, the line up consists of Mascis, bassist Mike Johnson and drummer Murph. After the tour for “Been”, Murph also leaves, reducing Dinosaur Jr. to a duo. For their sixth album, Mascis plays most of the instruments on the album, supported by Johnson on bass. “Without A Sound” is led by the single “Feel The Pain” (#4 Modern Rock), with its Spike Jonze directed music video receiving heavy MTV airplay as well as the song itself receiving solid support from Modern Rock radio. The album is the band’s breakthrough and its most successful release. Originally having only a limited release on vinyl in 1994, it is remastered and reissued as a 180 gram LP in 2014 by UK reissue label Vinyl 180 Records. “Without A Sound” peaks at number forty four on the Billboard Top 200, and is certified Gold by the RIAA.

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On this day in music history: August 23, 1988 – “Nothing’s Shocking”, the debut album by Jane’s  Addiction is released. Produced by Dave Jerden and Perry Farrell, it is recorded at Eldorado Studios in Los Angeles, CA from Late 1987 – Early 1988. The first album by the L.A. based alternative rock band quickly establishes them both for their explosive sound and for the even more so for the explosive interpersonal dynamic between band members. Sessions are turbulent when arguments over publishing royalties (with lead singer and lyricist Farrell demanding more than a 50% share) cause band relationships to fracture. The albums striking and controversial cover art (a sculpture of nude conjoined twins with their hair on fire) is created by lead singer Perry Farrell, when he take full plaster body castings of his girlfriend. Nine out of the eleven major US record store chains initially refuse to stock the album, consenting to carry it only if packaged in a brown paper bag. It spins off three singles including “Mountain Song” and “Jane Says” (#6 Modern Rock). Out of print on vinyl since 1989, it is remastered and reissued as a 180 gram LP by Rhino Records in the US in 2009, and Europe in 2013. It is also issued in a limited edition (6,000 copies), pressed on clear vinyl, as part of Rhino’s “Rocktober” release series in October of 2017. “Nothing’s Shocking” peaks at number one hundred three on the Billboard Top 200, and is certified Platinum in the US by the RIAA.

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On this day in music history: August 21, 1990 – “Ritual De Lo Habitual”, the second studio album by Jane’s Addiction is released. Produced by Dave Jerden and Perry Ferrell, it is recorded at Track Record Studios in North Hollywood, CA from Mid 1989 – Mid 1990. After the acclaim they receive for their major label debut “Nothing’s Shocking”, Jane’s Addiction return to the studio to record the follow up. With the band already on unstable ground due to personality clashes and substance abuse, they make slow progress working on the album. In spite of the tension, Jane’s Addiction emerge from the studio with what many regard as their best album. It spins off four singles including “Stop!” (#1 Modern Rock) and “Been Caught Stealing” (#1 Modern Rock, #2 Mainstream Rock). Like their previous album, the cover artwork for “Ritual” sparks controversy also. The cover designed by lead singer Perry Ferrell shows a paper mache diorama of the singer lying in bed naked with two women and the figures genitalia semi exposed. As a result, several music retailers refuse to stock the album with the original artwork. A second cover for those stores is prepared featuring a stark white cover with the artist name, album title and Article 1 of First Amendment of the US Constitution stating the amendment of free speech. It also includes the additional text on the back cover,“Hitler’s syphilis-ridden dreams almost came true. How could it happen? By taking control of the media. An entire country was led by a lunatic… We must protect our First Amendment, before sick dreams become law. Nobody made fun of Hitler??!” To support the album, Jane’s Addiction tour heavily, embarking on the first Lollapalooza Tour across the US in mid 1991. The bands already deteriorating relationships finally implode at the end of the tour, leading to Jane’s Addiction disbanding and not playing together as a unit again until 1997, then recording a new album in 2003. Though in both cases it is without original bassist Eric Avery who declines to participate in the reunions. “Ritual De Lo Habitual” peaks at number nineteen on the Billboard Top 200, and is certified 2x Platinum in the US by the RIAA.

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