Category: new wave

On this day in music history: June 3, 1989 – &…

On this day in music history: June 3, 1989 – “The Raw And The Cooked”, the second album by Fine Young Cannibals hits #1 on the Billboard Top 200 for 7 weeks. Produced by Fine Young Cannibals, Jerry Harrison, and David Z., it is recorded at Sarm West Studios in Hampstead, London, UK, Power Plant Studios in Willesden, London, UK Parsifal Studios in West Hampstead, London, UK, Music Station in London, AIR Studios in London and Paisley Park Studios in Chanhassen, MN circa Mid 1986 – Late 1988. The Birmingham, UK bands second album begins recording just months after the release of their self-titled debut. They record a cover of The Buzzcocks “Ever Fallen In Love” for the Jonathan Demme film “Something Wild”, released as a single nearly three years before the full album is released. In the interim, they also record three more songs for inclusion in the Barry Levinson comedy “Tin Men” in 1987 in which the band makes a cameo appearance as nightclub band. Wanting to work with Prince, FYC end up working with engineer/producer David Z. at Paisley Park when the artist is unavailable. The album takes its title from the book “Le Cru et le Cuit” by French anthropologist and ethnologist Claude Lévi-Strauss. It is a huge critical and commercial success upon its release, spinning off a total of six singles including the chart toppers “She Drives Me Crazy” and “Good Thing”. “Cooked” so successful that it spins off a sequel remix album titled “The Raw And The Remix” consisting of 12" remixes and alternate versions of several songs in late 1990. “The Raw And The Cooked” 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: June 3, 1983 -…

On this day in music history: June 3, 1983 – “The Safety Dance” by Men Without Hats is released. Written by Ivan Doroschuk, it is the debut single release and the biggest hit for the synth pop/new wave band from Montreal, Quebec, Canada. Founded in 1977 as a punk rock band and first known as Wave 21, it features brothers Ivan Doroschuk (lead vocals), Stefan Doroschuk (bass) and Colin Doroschuk (guitar), along with Pete Seabrooke (guitar), Dave Hill (bass) and John Gurrin (drums). They change their name to Men Without Hats after punk gives way to new wave. Their quirky name comes as a result of the brothers’ refusal to wear hats during Canada’s often bitterly cold winters. The band features a rotating line up, with Ivan and Stefan being only constant members. After more changes in personnel, Men Without Hats are then signed to Statik Records (distributed by Sire Records internationally). The band record their debut album “Rhythm Of Youth”, issuing “I Like” as the first single. It fails to chart in Canada or Europe, and is followed up by “The Safety Dance”. The song is a result of an experience during Men Without Hats’ early days. Bouncers in a club they were playing in, were admonishing patrons stop pogo dancing. The dance consists of someone jumping up and down like a pogo stick, while either flailing your arms. Regarded as the predecessor to moshing and slam dancing, some venues ban it, to avoid injuries. Released in Canada and Europe first, “The Safety Dance” peaks at #11 on the Canadian singles chart, and #6 on the UK singles chart in early 1983. Off of the back of that success, it’s licensed to MCA distributed Backstreet Records in the US. “The Safety Dance” is supported by a music video directed by Tim Pope (The Cure, Soft Cell), inspired by 17th and 18th century English folklore and culture. Filmed in the village of West Kington in Wiltshire, UK, actors in period dress are seen dancing in groups and around the maypole. British dwarf actor Mike Edmonds (Flash Gordon, Time Bandits, Return Of The Jedi), as the jester who accompanies Doroschuk. Throughout the video, Ivan makes the distinctive movements of jerking his arms into the shape of an “S”, to signify the “safety dance”. A big hit on American dance floors first, an extended version (included on the “Rhythm Of Youth” album) spends one week at #1 on the Billboard Club Play chart, on July 2, 1983. The original single mix crosses over to radio, peaking at #3 on the Hot 100 on September 10, 1983. Regarded as an 80’s new wave classic, Men Without Hats will find following up their big hit nearly impossible. They chart in the US only two more times with “I Like” (#84 Pop) and “Pop Goes The World” (#20 Pop). In 1984, “Weird Al” Yankovic spoofs “The Safety Dance” with “The Brady Bunch” on his album “In 3-D”.

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 1, 1985 – &…

On this day in music history: June 1, 1985 – “Hunting High And Low”, the debut album by a-ha is released. Produced by John Ratcliff, Tony Mansfield and Alan Tarney, it is recorded Eel Pie Studios in Twickenham, London, UK, and Rendezvous Studios in London from June 1984 – March 1985. Formed in their native Oslo, Norway in 1982, a-ha take their name from song written by Pål Waaktaar early in band’s existence. They choose the name as a word that is easy for English speaking people to remember and pronounce, and has the same meaning in Norwegian and English. Realizing that their chances for success are limited in Norway, a-ha relocate to London in 1983. They begin recording demos, secure management, and within a year begin to attract record label interest. Signed to the US branch of Warner Bros Records in early 1984, the Norwegian pop trio begin work on their first album with a trio of producers, including their manager John Ratcliff, and UK pop/rock veterans Tony Mansfield (Naked Eyes, The B-52’s, Captain Sensible) and Alan Tarney (Cliff Richard, Leo Sayer). It spins off three hits in the US including the chart topping “Take On Me” (on October 19, 1985) and “The Sun Always Shines On TV” (#20 Pop, #6 Club Play). It sells over six million copies worldwide, also earning them a Grammy nomination for Best New Artist. In 2010, a two CD remastered version of the album (by Bill Inglot, Dan Hersch and Dave Schultz) is issued including demo versions of several songs, previously unreleased tracks, 12" single remixes and the original 1984 version of “Take On Me”. Out of print on vinyl since the late 80’s, it is remastered and reissued by Rhino Records in 2015. Another limited edition LP, pressed on clear vinyl, is issued as part of Rhino’s “Back To The 80’s” series in July of 2018. “Hunting High And Low” peaks at number fifteen 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: June 1, 1983 – &…

On this day in music history: June 1, 1983 – “Synchronicity”, the fifth studio album by The Police is released. Produced by The Police and Hugh Padgham, it is recorded at AIR Studios in Montserrat and Le Studio in Montreal, Quebec, Canada from December 1982 – February 1983. Released as the follow up to “Ghost In The Machine”, the albums title is inspired by works written by Arthur Koestler and Carl Jung, both of whom Sting is reading during the writing and recording of the album. The recording sessions are tense throughout, especially between Sting and drummer Stewart Copeland, which lead to a physical confrontation between the two during the recording of “Every Breath You Take”. Co-producer and engineer Hugh Padgham nearly walks off the project due to all of the fighting. Eventually, recording is completed with the band members tracking their parts in separate rooms. Upon its release it is a huge critical and commercial success, becoming The Police’s most successful album. It spins off four singles including “Every Breath You Take” (#1 Pop), “King Of Pain” (#3 Pop), “Synchronicity II” (#16 Pop) and “Wrapped Around Your Finger” (#8 Pop). The CD and cassette versions of the album contain the bonus track “Murder By Numbers” (also issued as the B-side of “Every Breath You Take”. The albums cover art features a series of individual pictures of the band on the front and back, taken by photographer Duane Michals. There are thirty eight different variations of the pictures and color strips of the jacket art designed by Jeff Ayeroff and Norman Moore, that are printed (including a promotional only cover without the color stripes printed on the front and back). For the entire original press run of the LP, A&M Records presses the album on JVC KC-600 audiophile vinyl to insure high quality pressings with a quiet playing surface. The cassette configuration is manufactured on BASF CrO2 chrome tape, also for better durability and sound quality. The album is nominated for five Grammy Awards, winning three including Best Pop Performance By A Duo Or Group With Vocal, Best Rock Performance By A Duo Or Group With Vocal, and Song Of The Year in 1984. The album is remastered on CD in 1995, and as an SACD in 2003. It is also reissued as a 180 gram vinyl LP in the Back To Black series in 2008. A newly remastered vinyl LP is also included in the box set “The Police ‎– Every Move You Make – The Studio Recordings” in November of 2018. “Synchronicity” spends seventeen weeks (non-consecutive) at number one on the Billboard Top 200, and is certified 8x 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: May 31, 1983 – &…

On this day in music history: May 31, 1983 – “Speaking In Tongues”, the fifth studio album by Talking Heads is released. Produced by Talking Heads, it is recorded at Blank Tapes Studios, Sigma Sound Studios in New York City and Compass Point Studios in Nassau, The Bahamas from July 1982 – February 1983. Their first album of new studio material since “Remain In Light” three years earlier, the band create their most accessible and commercially successful album. It spins off two singles including their biggest hit “Burning Down The House” (#9 Pop) and “This Must Be The Place (Naive Melody)” (#62 Pop). “Tongues” is also supported by their largest tour to date, which also produces the live concert film and album “Stop Making Sense” in 1984. Pop Artist Robert Rauschenberg wins a Grammy Award (for Best Album Package) for the limited edition LP package which includes a clear vinyl LP (with three additional clear plastic discs with collages printed on each) housed in a clear plastic cover. The original cassette version of the album contains longer versions of the tracks “I Get Wild/Wild Gravity”, “Slippery People”, “Girlfriend Is Better”, “Moon Rocks” and “Making Flippy Floppy” that were edited for time to fit on a single LP. In 2006, a remastered DualDisc CD of the album is issued including the longer versions of the songs from the cassette release, along two additional bonus tracks. The second side of the disc is a DVD-A featuring high resolution stereo and 5.1 surround mixes of the album and the music videos for “Burning Down The House” and “This Must Be The Place (Naive Melody)”. In 2009, the album is also issued as a limited edition SHM-CD, replicating the Rauschenberg designed packaging in mini-LP form. Out of print on vinyl since 1989, it is remastered and reissued as a 180 gram LP by Rhino Records in 2013. “Speaking In Tongues” peaks at number fifteen 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: May 29, 1982 – “…

On this day in music history: May 29, 1982 – “Combat Rock”, the fifth studio album by The Clash is released (UK release date is on May 14, 1982). Produced by The Clash and Glyn Johns, it is recorded at Ear Studios in London in September 1981, Electric Lady Studios in New York City from November 1981 – January 1982 and Wessex Studios in London in April 1982. Following the epic triple album “Sandinista!” in 1980, The Clash continue forward by refusing to stay in one place musically, or be pigeonholed creatively. In the interim, the band record and release the stand alone single “This Is Radio Clash” (#47 UK, #17 US Club Play) in late 1981, which is first new song to emerge from the sessions of their next full length release. The album in progress is originally conceived as a double LP with the working title “Rat Patrol From Fort Bragg”. However, intense squabbling over music direction during the sessions (initially produced by Mick Jones) results in them scrapping their original concept. Producer and engineer Glyn Johns is brought in to oversee the production, and the material is pared down to a single album instead.  It is the bands most successful album, spinning off four singles including “Should I Stay Or Should I Go” (#17 UK first release, #45 US Pop, #1 UK 1991 reissue) their US biggest hit “Rock The Casbah” (#8 US Pop and Club Play, #30 UK, #15 UK 1991 reissue). In the US, Epic Records services radio stations with a limited edition picture disc LP with a camouflage pattern and 10 x 7 sticker insert, that becomes a rare and sought after collector’s item. Initial pressings contain a commercial for “2000 Flushes” on the track “Innoculated City”, that is removed from subsequent re-pressings to avoid legal action against the band. “Combat Rock” also marks the beginning of the end for the band. It is the last Clash album to feature members Mick Jones and Topper Headon who are both fired from the band, Jones for being at odds with Joe Strummer, and Headon for his increasingly out of control heroin addiction. The album is remastered and reissued on CD in 2000, with 180 gram vinyl LP reissues by Music On Vinyl in Europe and Sony Legacy in the US in 2013. “Combat Rock” peaks at number two on the UK album chart, number seven on the Billboard Top 200, and is certified 2x 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: May 20, 1985 – &…

On this day in music history: May 20, 1985 – “Youthquake”, the second album by Dead Or Alive is released. Produced by Stock, Aitken and Waterman, it is recorded at PWL Studios in London from September 1984 – March 1985. Following the departure of founding member and guitarist Wayne Hussey to join the goth-rock band Sisters Of Mercy in mid-1984, Dead Or Alive continue on as a quartet. The Liverpool, UK based band completely abandon their early goth/post-punk sound which they had begun moving away from on their debut album “Sophisticated Boom Boom”. Dead Or Alive work with the fledgling production team of Mike Stock, Matt Aikten and Pete Waterman (aka Stock, Aitken and Waterman. The first product of the bands fully revamped Eurodisco/Hi-NRG sound is the single “You Spin Me Round (Like A Record)” (#1 UK Pop, #11 US Pop), which Epic Records has such disdain for it initially, that they refuse to fund its recording. Lead singer Pete Burns believes so deeply in the songs hit potential that he takes out a loan to record it independently of the label. After the song is recorded, Epic releases it, but again refuses to provide a budget to shoot a music video. The self financed clip directed by Vaughan Arnell and Anthea Benton (George Michael’s “Fastlove”, The Spice Girls’ “Say You’ll Be There”) begins to receive play on UK television and in clubs, helping the record move on to the charts in December of 1984. The song moves slowly up the charts until Dead Or Alive appears on Top Of The Pops in February of 1985. That lone television appearance helps propel the single to #1 on the UK singles chart in March, prompting its US release. The album meets with similar success as it spins off three additional singles including “Lover Come Back To Me” (#11 UK Pop, #75 US Pop), “In Too Deep” (#14 UK Pop), and “My Heart Goes Bang (Get Me To The Doctor)” (#23 UK Pop). The albums striking cover artwork is designed by British graphic design firm Satori (Def Leppard, Thompson Twins), and features an enigmatic photograph of the flamboyant Burns on the front, taken by famed fashion photographer Mario Testino. The original European CD and cassette versions of the album include the Performance Mix of “You Spin Me Round” and the extended dance mix of “Lover Come Back”, as well as the remastered release in 1994. The US and Japanese CD’s contain the original vinyl LP track listing. Out of print on vinyl since its original release, it is remastered and reissued by Music On Vinyl in 2018. The LP comes pressed on standard black or limited edition purple vinyl (1,500 numbered copies). “Youthquake” peaks at number nine on the UK album chart, number thirty one 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

On this day in music history: May 20, 1977 – &…

On this day in music history: May 20, 1977 – “In The City”, the debut album by The Jam is released. Produced by Vic Smith and Chris Parry, it is recorded at Stratford Place in London in March 1977. Heavily influenced by the 60’s mod culture in London and by bands like The Kinks and The Who, the punk/new wave trio from Woking, Surrey, UK led by guitarist and vocalist Paul Weller will stand out significantly from their contemporaries. Unlike other British punk bands of the era, The Jam often dress in sharp tailored suits, (rather than the ripped and safety pinned clothing that many other bands wore), and are more musically influenced by the 60’s pop and R&B music that mod teens of the era listened and danced to. The band immediately make their impact felt in their home country with their critically acclaimed and commercially successful debut, also earning them a solid cult following in the US. The album spins off two singles including “All Around The World” (#13 UK) and the title track (#40 UK). Originally released on CD in 1987, it is remastered and reissued in 2008 in Japan as an SHM-CD. Out of print on vinyl since the late 80’s, it is reissued in 2013 as a 180 gram vinyl LP, as part of UMe’s “Back To Black” vinyl reissue series. “In The City” peaks at number twenty on the UK album chart.

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: May 18, 1985 – &…

On this day in music history: May 18, 1985 – “Don’t You (Forget About Me)” by Simple Minds hits #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 for 1 week, also topping the Mainstream Rock chart for 3 weeks on April 20, 1985. Written by Keith Forsey and Steve Schiff, it is the biggest hit for the Anglo/Scottish rock band fronted by lead singer Jim Kerr. Written as the theme song to the John Hughes directed coming of age comedy/drama “The Breakfast Club”, Forsey initially approaches Billy Idol, Bryan Ferry and Cy Curnin (lead singer of The Fixx) to record the song, all of them decline. Simple Minds are also asked to do the song, and turn it down before being persuaded by their US label A&M Records to record it. The band create their own arrangement and record the track in about three hours. Released as a single on January 21, 1985, four weeks before the film arrives in theaters, it quickly becomes a hit. Entering the Hot 100 at #90 on February 23, 1985, it climbs to the top of the chart twelve weeks later. The full unedited version of the track (running over six and a half minutes) is issued as a 12" single, along with the shorter 45 version (also featured on the soundtrack album). In the US, A&M Records issues the 7″ and 12″ singles in a title sleeve with Celtic themed crosses on the front and back.

The second and more common printing of the 7″ sleeve, adds a mini of “The Breakfast Club” soundtrack cover art work (adding info about the song’s inclusion on the soundtrack album), shortly after its release.

In time, “Don’t You (Forget About Me)” is regarded as an iconic song of the era, and remains one the most popular and frequently played 80′s records on radio today.

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: May 18, 1979 – &…

On this day in music history: May 18, 1979 – “Lodger”, the thirteenth studio album by David Bowie is released. Produced by David Bowie and Tony Visconti, it is recorded at Mountain Studios in Montreaux, Switzerland and The Record Plant in New York City in September 1978 and March 1979 . The album is the third and final release in David Bowie’s “Berlin Trilogy”, his collaborative efforts with producer/musician Brian Eno, named as such since the songs are composed while the two are living in East Germany (though recorded elsewhere). More pop oriented than its predecessors “Low” and “Heroes”, but with Bowie still maintaining an experimental edge. The albums two sides feature songs that follow specific themes. The first side include songs representing travel, while the second side feature songs commenting on Western society. The albums cover art (designed by Bowie and British pop artist Derek Boshier) features a photo (taken with a Polaroid SX-70 camera) of the singer posed as an accident victim with a broken nose sprawled out on his back. It spins off two singles including “DJ” (#7 UK) and “Boys Keep Swinging” (#29 UK). To help promote the album, Bowie makes a now famous appearance on Saturday Night Live on December 15, 1979, with performance artists Klaus Nomi and Joey Arias, where he performs “TVC 15” and “Boys Keep Swinging”, wearing a dress and as an anthropomorphic puppet respectively. Reissued numerous times since making its CD debut in 1984, it is most recently remastered and reissued in September of 2017. The album is reissued on CD and as a 180 gram vinyl LP, individually and as part of the box set “David Bowie: A New Career In A New Town”. “Lodger” peaks at number four on the UK album chart and number twenty 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