Category: express yourself

On this day in music history: August 8, 1988 -…

On this day in music history: August 8, 1988 – “Straight Outta Compton”, the debut album by N.W.A is released. Produced by Dr. Dre and DJ Yella, it is recorded at Audio Achievements in Torrance, CA from Late 1987 – Early 1988. The groundbreaking first album by the Compton, CA rap group introduce hardcore rap to the mainstream. Painting graphic sonic pictures of life in their native Compton and South Central Los Angeles, backed by samples of classic R&B and Funk, the album immediately strikes a nerve in the public conscious that spread far beyond the origins of its creation. The record receives virtually no mainstream radio airplay, video play, or tour support, yet it reaches multi-platinum status, through word of mouth creating a huge underground buzz at street level. It spins off three singles including “Gangsta, Gangsta”, “Express Yourself” and the title track. The album also receives a high profile boost when the FBI sends a letter to the head of NWA’s label Priority Records, warning and chastising them about the incendiary lyrics on the track “F*ck Tha Police”. In time, the album is regarded as a landmark release in Hip Hop, pioneering the “G-Funk and "gangsta rap genres. The album is remastered and reissued on CD in 2002 with four additional bonus tracks, including the 12” mixes of “Express Yourself, "Straight Outta Compton” and the single B-side “A Bitch Iz A Bitch”. The album is most recently remastered and reissued on vinyl in 2015, as a 180 gram LP, and limited edition picture disc. The album is also reissued on cassette, making it available in that format. for the first time in nearly two decades. “Straight Outta Compton” peaks at number nine on the Billboard R&B album chart, number thirty seven on the Top 200, and is certified 3x Platinum in the US by the RIAA.

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

On this day in music history: June 5, 1970 – &…

On this day in music history: June 5, 1970 – “Express Yourself”, the fourth album by Charles Wright & The Watts 103rd Street Rhythm Band is released. Produced by Charles Wright, it is recorded at Gold Star Studios in Hollywood, CA from December 1969 – March 1970. Originally formed in 1962 as Charles Wright & The Wright Sounds by guitarist and lead singer Charles Wright, the band build their reputation on L.A.’s R&B music scene over the next five years. In 1967, the band are discovered by producer and Keymen Records owner Fred Smith, who changes their name to The Watts 103rd Street Rhythm Band. They release their first single “Spreadin’ Honey” (#44 R&B, #73 Pop) in August of 1967. Prior its release, the band meet comedian Bill Cosby who is looking for musicians to back him on his first music album. Wright and the band play on “Bill Cosby Sings: Silver Throat”, yielding the hit single “Little Ole Man (Uptight Everything’s Alright)” (#4 Pop). Cosby assists them in securing a contract with Warner Bros. Their first two albums “Hot Heat And Sweet Groove” and “Together” perform modestly, but the band makes their real breakthrough in 1969 with the album “In The Jungle, Babe” and hit singles “Do Your Thing” (#11 Pop, #12 R&B) and “Love Land” (#16 Pop, #23 R&B). Amending their name to Charles Wright & The Watts 103rd Street Rhythm Band later that year, they begin work on their fourth album. Wright pens the ultra-funky horn driven “Express Yourself”, recording it at Gold Star Studios in early 1970. With “Love Land” having made a slow but steady climb up the pop and R&B charts before finally peaking in mid-July, Warner Bros. releases “Express” as a single the first week of August 1970. An instant classic, “Express Yourself” (#3 R&B, #12 Pop) quickly rises up the charts, becoming the bands biggest hit. Initial pressings of the album feature the song “Road Without An End” as its opening track. Re-pressings drop this track, replacing it with “Love Land”. Wright & Watts 103rd Street Rhythm Band re-visit their biggest hit on the follow up album “You’re So Beautiful” in 1971. Titling it “Express Yourself II”, it is converted into a slower stripped down call and response. The original version is revived in 1989 when N.W.A. samples it for their hit of the same name, and is featured in “Remember The Titans”. Out of print in the US for over thirty years, the “Express Yourself” album is reissued on CD in 2005 by Collectables Records with the original first pressing running order. In 2007, Rhino Records UK releases a remastered edition on CD in Europe with nine additional bonus tracks. “Express Yourself” peaks at number twenty seven on the Billboard R&B album chart, and number one hundred eighty two on the 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: June 5, 1970 – &…

On this day in music history: June 5, 1970 – “Express Yourself”, the fourth album by Charles Wright & The Watts 103rd Street Rhythm Band is released. Produced by Charles Wright, it is recorded at Gold Star Studios in Hollywood, CA from December 1969 – March 1970. Originally formed in 1962 as Charles Wright & The Wright Sounds by guitarist and lead singer Charles Wright, the band build their reputation on L.A.’s R&B music scene over the next five years. In 1967, the band are discovered by producer and Keymen Records owner Fred Smith who changes their name to The Watts 103rd Street Rhythm Band. They release their first single “Spreadin’ Honey” (#44 R&B, #73 Pop) in August of 1967, becoming their first chart entry. Prior its release, the band meet comedian Bill Cosby who is looking for musicians to back him on his first music album. Wright and the band sign on as the backing band on “Bill Cosby Sings: Silver Throat”, yielding the hit single “Little Ole Man (Uptight Everything’s Alright)” (#4 Pop). Cosby assists them in securing a contract with Warner Bros. Their first two albums “Hot Heat And Sweet Groove” and “Together” perform modestly, but the band makes their real breakthrough in 1969 with the album “In The Jungle, Babe” and hit singles “Do Your Thing” (#11 Pop, #12 R&B) and “Love Land” (#16 Pop, #23 R&B). Amending their name to Charles Wright & The Watts 103rd Street Rhythm Band later that year, they begin work on their fourth album. Wright pens the ultra-funky horn driven “Express Yourself”, recording it at Gold Star Studios in early 1970. With “Love Land” having made a slow but steady climb up the pop and R&B charts before finally peaking in mid-July, Warner Bros. releases “Express” as a single the first week of August 1970. An instant classic, “Express Yourself” (#3 R&B, #12 Pop) quickly rises up the charts, becoming the bands biggest hit. Initial pressings of the album feature the song “Road Without An End” as its opening track. Re-pressings drop this track, replacing it with “Love Land”. Wright & Watts 103rd Street Rhythm Band re-visit their biggest hit on the follow up album “You’re So Beautiful” in 1971. Titling it “Express Yourself II”, it is converted into a slower stripped down call and response. The original version is revived in 1989 when N.W.A. samples it for their hit of the same name, and is featured in the film “Remember The Titans”. Out of print in the US for over thirty years, the “Express Yourself” album is reissued on CD in 2005 by Collectables Records with the original first pressing running order. In 2007, Rhino Records UK releases a remastered edition on CD in Europe with nine additional bonus tracks including original radio spots, mono single mixes and previously unreleased tracks. “Express Yourself” peaks at number twenty seven on the Billboard R&B album chart, and number one hundred eighty two on the Top 200.

On this day in music history: March 21, 1989 -…

On this day in music history: March 21, 1989 – “Like A Prayer”, the fourth studio album by Madonna is released. Produced by Madonna, Patrick Leonard, Stephen Bray and Prince, it is recorded at D & D Recording in New York City and Ocean Way Recording in Hollywood, CA from September 1988 – January 1989. Taking a nearly three year long break between studio albums, Madonna returns to the studio in the Fall of 1988 to record the official follow up to “True Blue”. Deeply introspective in nature, many songs are inspired by Madonna’s Catholic upbringing, her family, and death of her mother. The album is dedicated to her mother’s memory (who was also named Madonna). Madonna works with her long time collaborators Stephen Bray and Patrick Leonard as well as collaborating with Prince on the track “Love Song”. Prince also contributes guitar to the albums closing track “Act Of Contrition” (a deconstruction of the title track). A huge critical and commercial success upon its release, it spins off five hit singles including “Express Yourself” (#2 Pop), “Cherish” (#2 Pop) and the title track (#1 Pop). Initial pressings of the album are scented with patchouli oil, and also come packaged with an insert with safer sex guide lines and information on AIDS prevention, in tribute to friends Madonna has lost to the disease. The singer supports the album with the now iconic “Blond Ambition World Tour” in 1990, which is captured in the documentary film “Madonna: Truth Or Dare”. Out of print on vinyl for many years, it is remastered and reissued as a 180 gram LP in 2016. A limited edition pressing on red vinyl is issued through the European supermarket Sainbury’s the same year. “Like A Prayer” spends six weeks at number one on the Billboard Top 200, and is certified 4x Platinum in the US by the RIAA.