Category: rock

On this day in music history: July 17, 1982 – …

On this day in music history: July 17, 1982 – “Screaming For Vengeance”, the eighth studio album by Judas Priest is released. Produced by Tom Allom, it is recorded at Ibiza Sound Studios in Ibiza, Spain in Early 1982. After having their commercial breakthrough in the US with the albums “British Steel” and “Point Of Entry”, Judas Priest return to the studio in early 1982 to record their eighth album. Once again, they record on the Spanish resort island of Ibiza (for tax purposes)The veteran heavy metal bands eighth release is their most successful to date in the US, spinning off two singles including “You’ve Got Another Thing Comin’” (#67 Pop, #4 Mainstream Rock) and “Electric Eye” (#38 Mainstream Rock). The band also tour extensively in support of the album and other metal bands such as Iron Maiden, Krokus and Uriah Heep opening for them on the US leg. It is remastered and reissued on CD in 2001, with two additional bonus tracks added. The expanded reissue is also released as a double vinyl LP by Back On Black Records in 2010, pressed on green, yellow, orange and standard black vinyl. “Screaming For Vengeance” peaks at number seventeen 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: July 17, 1981 – …

On this day in music history: July 17, 1981 – “Escape” (aka E5C4P3), the seventh album by Journey is released. Produced by Mike Stone and Kevin Elson, it is recorded at Fantasy Studios in Berkeley, CA from April – June 1981. Starting off the 80’s with the successful “Departure”, Journey follows it with the live album “Captured”. In between, they also record “Dream, After Dream”, the soundtrack for the Japanese film “Yume, Yume No Ato”. Shortly afterward, founding member Gregg Rolie leaves to pursue a solo career. Rolie recommends former Babys keyboardist Jonathan Cain as his replacement. Besides his excellent musicianship, Cain proves to be a highly valuable asset to the band for his songwriting abilities, especially in tandem with lead singer Steve Perry and guitarist Neal Schon. Co-writing all ten of the songs on the album, Cain establishes himself as another element in Journey’s success. Sporting instantly memorable songs, it quickly becomes their most successful studio album. Though some critics react unfavorably, accusing the band of selling out their progressive rock roots, the public and radio could care less, enthusiastically embracing the album. It spins off a total of five singles including “Who’s Crying Now” (#4 Pop), “Open Arms” (#2 Pop) and “Still They Ride” (#19 Pop). The second single “Don’t Stop Believin’” (#9 Pop), is released in October of 1981 as the follow up to “Who’s Crying Now”. Though successful at the time, it’s overshadowed by the two singles released before (“Crying”) and after (“Open Arms”), which are bigger chart and airplay hits. However, “Don’t Stop Believin’” builds in popularity, becoming a highlight of Journey’s live concerts. It becomes a staple on rock radio over the next two decades, and a huge karaoke favorite. Its greatest success comes in 2007 when featured in the final episode of the “The Sopranos”. Following the initial broadcast seen by nearly twelve million people, “Believin’” immediately surges to the top of the Apple iTunes digital download chart. To date it has sold over 6.5 million digital downloads, making it one of the largest selling digital singles released in the pre-digital era. It also becomes an anthem at sporting events, being adapted as a rallying cry by fans of the San Francisco Giants during their World Series victories. The success of “Escape” inspires the video game “Journey Escape”, created by California based video game company Data Age for the Atari 2600 game console in 1982. The albums now iconic cover artwork of their trademark scarab crashing out of a glass orb, is painted by famed Bay Area based artist Stanley Mouse. One of the first titles released on CD by CBS Records in 1982, it is remastered and reissued in 2006 with four additional bonus tracks. It is also reissued as a 180 gram vinyl LP by Friday Music in 2010. “Escape” spends one week at number one on the Billboard Top 200, and is certified 9x Platinum in the US by the RIAA.

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On this day in music history: July 17, 1968 – …

On this day in music history: July 17, 1968 – The Beatles third film “Yellow Submarine” has its world premiere at the London Pavillion Theater in London. Directed by George Dunning and written by Lee Minoff, Al Brodax, Jack Mendelsohn, and Erich Segal (“Love Story”), the animated feature is a joint venture between King Features Syndicate, United Artists Pictures and The Beatles company Apple Corps. The band contribute four new songs to the films soundtrack (in addition to eleven previously released songs) is not released until January of 1969. The films US release does not take place until November 13, 1968. “Yellow Submarine” is well received upon its release, and is regarded as a classic today. When The Beatles company Apple Corps regains ownership of “Yellow Submarine”, the film undergoes a major restoration in 1999 and is released on DVD for the first time. It is digitally enhanced and receives further restoration work before it is reissued a second time on DVD, and on Blu-Ray for the first time in 2012. To commemorate its 50th anniversary, the film is re-released for a brief theatrical run in various major cities. Apple Records also releases a limited edition 7″ picture disc of “Yellow Submarine” b/w “Eleanor Rigby” on July 6, 2018.

Jimi Hendrix at the Schiller Hotel in Amster…

Jimi Hendrix at the Schiller Hotel in Amsterdam after his performance at the Hippy Happy Festival in 1967.   

Photos by Rob Bosboom

On this day in music history: July 16, 2008 – …

On this day in music history: July 16, 2008 – Billy Joel plays the first of two concerts at Shea Stadium in Flushing, Queens, New York. The legendary sports venue which has been the home of the New York Mets since opening in 1964, is scheduled to be demolished before years end to make way for its replacement Citi Field. Joel plays to over 110,000 fans over two nights (July 16-18), and features him with a number of guest musicians including Tony Bennett, Don Henley, John Mayer, John Mellencamp, Steven Tyler, Roger Daltrey, Garth Brooks, and Paul McCartney. The concerts are released as the documentary film “Last Play At Shea” in 2010, and as the album and concert video “Live At Shea Stadium” in March of 2011.

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On this day in music history: July 16, 1966 – …

On this day in music history: July 16, 1966 – The legendary rock band Cream officially forms in London, UK. Drummer Ginger Baker asks guitarist Eric Clapton to join his new group after seeing him play with John Mayall’s Bluesbreakers. Clapton agrees to join only if Baker hires his former band mate bassist Jack Bruce. Baker and Bruce were known to have had a very volatile relationship, having had on stage fist fights (in their previous band Powerhouse) with Baker even pulling a knife on Bruce, which drives him out of that band. The two put their differences aside when they realize the immediate chemistry between the three when they play together. The band play their first gig thirteen days later at The Twisted Wheel in Manchester. Within a couple of weeks, Cream enter the recording studio to begin work on their debut album “Fresh Cream” which is released in December of 1966 in the UK, and January of 1967 in the US.

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On this day in music history: July 16, 1966 – …

On this day in music history: July 16, 1966 – “Hanky Panky" by Tommy James & The Shondells hits #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 for 2 weeks. Written by Jeff Barry and Ellie Greenwich, it is the first chart topping single for the Michigan based garage rock band fronted by lead singer Tommy James. The song is originally recorded in 1963 by songwriters Jeff Barry and Ellie Greenwich under the name The Raindrops, writing it in only twenty minutes when they need a B-side for another song they’ve recorded. The song is also recorded by the girl group The Summits on Harmon Records in late 1963. Tommy James and his band record their own version of the song the same year, and is released on Snap Records in the bands hometown of Niles, MI in February of 1964. The record becomes a minor regional hit in Michigan and the surrounding area before it is forgotten about. In late 1965, DJ “Mad Mike" Metro at WZUM in Pittsburgh, PA rediscovers the nearly two year old record and begins playing it on air, regenerating interest in the song. Someone bootlegs over 80,000 copies of the single and begin selling it in local record stores. With the original Shondells having broken up, James travels to Pittsburgh, to make appearances to promote the record. While there, he finds the local band The Raconteurs, who are hired to become the new Shondells. The buzz created by the sudden revival of the single encourages James to sell the master to Roulette Records, who pick it up for national release. Entering the Hot 100 at #78 on June 4, 1966, it rockets to the top of the chart six weeks later, succeeding The Beatles’ “Paperback Writer”. “Hanky Panky” is the first of seven top ten and thirteen top 40 singles that the band enjoys over the next three and a half years. The song is later featured in the film and soundtrack for “Forrest Gump” in 1994. “Hanky Panky" is certified Gold in the US by the RIAA.

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On this day in music history: July 15, 1983 – …

On this day in music history: July 15, 1983 – “The Crossing”, the debut album by Big Country is released. Produced by Steve Lillywhite, it is recorded at The Manor in Oxfordshire, UK and RAK Studios in London in May 1983. Formed in 1981, Big Country goes through a number of personnel changes before before their classic line up is in place in 1982. For their debut album, the band are paired with producer Steve Lillywhite, best known for his work with U2 and Peter Gabriel. The first release by the rock band from Dunfermline, Fife, Scotland firmly establishes them and their trademark sound, a solid rhythm section with twin lead guitars played by Stuart Adamson and Bruce Watson. The album spins off two hit singles including “In A Big Country” (#17 Pop) and “Fields Of Fire” (#52 Pop), and is the most successful album for the Scottish band. The original LP release is issued with three different color variations for its sleeve artwork, coming red, blue and green. It is first remastered and reissued in 2002, with the “Wonderland” EP included as bonus tracks on the CD. It is remastered again in 2012 as a two CD deluxe edition to commemorate its 30th anniversary. The first disc features the original ten track album, plus seven bonus tracks. The second disc features demos and outtakes.  The expanded edition is also reissued as a double vinyl set, also in 2012. “The Crossing” peaks at number eighteen on the Billboard Top 200, and is certified Gold in the US by the RIAA.

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Born on this day: July 15, 1946 – Singer Linda…

Born on this day: July 15, 1946 – Singer Linda Ronstadt (born Linda Maria Ronstadt in Tucson, AZ). Happy 73rd Birthday, Linda!!

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Grace Slick photographed by Baron Wolman in Sa…

Grace Slick photographed by Baron Wolman in San Francisco, 1968.