On this day in music history: October 20, 1979 – “Rise” by Herb Alpert hits #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 for 2 weeks, also topping the Adult Contemporary chart for 1 week on September 22, 1979, and peaking at #4 on the R&B singles chart on October 27, 1979. Written by Andy Armer and Randy (Badazz) Alpert, it is the second number one single for the co-founder of A&M Records. Recorded in Studio D at A&M Records in Hollywood, the song is one of the first hit records to be recorded on digital recording equipment. The 3M Corporation lends the label, one of its first 32-track tape machines to experiment with. Alpert initially begins the sessions by attempting to record a disco remake of his first hit “The Lonely Bull”. When the musicians realize the new version isn’t working, Alpert’s nephew Randy gives his uncle a demo tape with some songs he as written with his friend Andy Armer. Herb loves the instrumental titled “Rise” and agree to record it. Originally written an uptempo dance track, it is recorded at a slower tempo for the finished recording. The track is recorded almost completely live in the studio in just a few takes. After its release in June of 1979, the single initially gets off to a slow start until it is prominently featured on the daytime soap opera “General Hospital”. The exposure the song receives on the show jump starts interest in it, spreading to radio. Entering the Hot 100 at #83 on July 28, 1979, it climbs to the top of the chart thirteen weeks later. The single wins Alpert a Grammy Award for Best Pop Instrumental Performance in 1980, his first Grammy win since 1967. The song also becomes the basis of The Notorious B.I.G.’s posthumous chart topper “Hypnotize” in 1997. “Rise” is certified Gold in the US by the RIAA.
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