Category: rock

On this day in music history: May 19, 1992 – “…

On this day in music history: May 19, 1992 – “Revenge”, the sixteenth studio album by KISS is released. Producer by Bob Ezrin, it is recorded at Rumbo Recorders in Canoga Park, CA, Track Records in North Hollywood, CA, Cornerstone Recorders in Chatsworth, CA, The Enterprise Studios in Burbank, CA, Acme Recording Studios in New York City, Ocean Way Recording and A&M Studios in Hollywood, CA from February 1991 – March 1992. Reuniting with veteran producer Bob Ezrin for the first time in ten years (since “Music From The Elder”), the first track KISS record with him is a cover of Argent’s “God Gave Rock & Roll To You” for the soundtrack of the film “Bill & Ted’s Bogus Journey”. The album also introduces new drummer Eric Singer to the band, replacing Eric Carr who passes away in November of 1991. It spins off five rock radio hits including “Unholy” and “Domino”, becoming the bands’ first US top 10 album since “Dynasty” thirteen years before. Issued briefly on vinyl during its initial release in 1992, it is remastered and reissued as a 180 gram vinyl LP in 2014. “Revenge” peaks at number six 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: May 19, 1986 – &…

On this day in music history: May 19, 1986 – “So”, the fifth studio album by Peter Gabriel is released. Produced by Daniel Lanois and Peter Gabriel, it is recorded at Ashcombe Studios, near Bath, England from May 1985 – March 1986. It is Gabriel’s second collaboration with producer Lanois (having worked together on the “Birdy” Soundtrack in 1984), the songs are a mixture of his more experimental progressive rock sounds and world music combined with more radio friendly, pop oriented material. The results yield his biggest selling album, spinning off five singles including “Sledgehammer” (#1 US Pop, #4 UK), “Big Time” (#8 US Pop, #13 UK), and “In Your Eyes” (#26 US Pop). The albums cover artwork is designed by graphic artist Peter Saville (New Order, Factory Records), and is the first to feature a clear photo of Gabriel on the front. It is also the first of his solo albums to bear a proper title, which he comes up with off the cuff, liking its simplicity and the fact that it had no specific meaning. In 1989, “In Your Eyes” is prominently featured in the Cameron Crowe written and directed film “Say Anything”, in a highly memorable scene featuring actor John Cusack, blasting song on a boombox outside his girlfriend’s (Ione Skye) window. The songs exposure in the film and soundtrack album, leads to it being re-released and charting a second time, peaking at #41 on the Hot 100 in July of 1989. In 2012, a three CD reissue to commemorate the album’s twenty fifth anniversary is released, containing a remastered version of the original album and a live concert recorded in Athens, Greece in 1987 during the “So World Tour”. A further box set edition is also released including the aforementioned contents along with a disc of demo recordings, two DVD’s including the Athens concert, the Classic Albums documentary on the making of the album, a remastered vinyl pressing of the LP, and a vinyl 12" single including two unreleased tracks and an alternate piano version of “Don’t Give Up”. “So” hits number one on the UK album album chart, peaking at number two on the Billboard Top 200, and is certified 5x Platinum in the US by the RIAA.

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Born on this day: May 19, 1945 – Singer, songw…

Born on this day: May 19, 1945 – Singer, songwriter and musician Pete Townshend (born Peter Dennis Blandford Townshend in Chiswick, London, UK. Happy 74th Birthday, Pete!!

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On this day in music history: May 19, 1975 – “…

On this day in music history: May 19, 1975 – “Captain Fantastic And The Brown Dirt Cowboy”, the ninth studio album by Elton John is released. Produced by Gus Dudgeon, it is recorded at the Caribou Ranch in Nederland, CO from June – July 1974. After the successful “Caribou” album, the prolific musician returns to the Caribou Ranch recording studio in the Colorado Rockies to record his next release. The concept album is an autobiographical account of Elton John and Bernie Taupin and the struggles they faced at the beginning of their musical careers. The single “Someone Saved My Life Tonight” (#4 Pop), is about John’s half hearted suicide attempt while he’s engaged to a woman, faced with choosing her over his music career (and still struggling with his sexual orientation at the time). His friend and former band mate Long John Baldry convinces him to break off the engagement (whom John’s refers to in the song as “Sugar Bear”). The album also marks the last time that John records with drummer Nigel Olsson and bassist Dee Murray until the “Too Low For Zero” album in 1983. “Captain Fantastic makes history when it becomes the first album to ever enter the Billboard Top 200 at number one. For the original LP release, a limited number of promotional copies are pressed on translucent brown vinyl, with each album jacket autographed by Elton John and Bernie Taupin. The album is remastered and reissued on CD in 1995 with the stand alone singles “Philadelphia Freedom” (#1 Pop), “Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds” (#1 Pop), and Elton’s cover of the John Lennon penned “One Day A Time” (B-side of “Lucy”), added as bonus tracks. Out of print on vinyl since 1989, the album is remastered and reissued in 2017. “Captain Fantastic And The Brown Dirt Cowboy” spends seven weeks (non-consecutive) at number one on the Billboard Top 200, and is certified 3x Platinum in the US by the RIAA.

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Born on this day: May 19, 1951 – Ramones lead …

Born on this day: May 19, 1951 – Ramones lead vocalist Joey Ramone (born Jeffrey Ross Hyman in Forest Hills, NY). Happy Birthday to this punk rock icon on what would have been his 68th Birthday.

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On this day in music history: May 19, 1972 – &…

On this day in music history: May 19, 1972 – “Honky Château”, the fifth studio album by Elton John is released. Produced by Gus Dudgeon, it is recorded at the Château d’Hérouville in Hérouville, France in January 1972. After releasing three full albums in 1971, including “Madman Across The Water”, the “Friends – Original Motion Picture Soundtrack” and the live “11-17-70”, Elton John and lyricist Bernie Taupin continue their workaholic pace into the next year. To record his next album, Elton and producer Gus Dudgeon record at the Château d’Hérouville, an 18th century French chateau located about forty miles northwest of Paris. The thirty room house, complete with a pool and tennis courts, also houses a professional recording studio. It is the first full album to feature John recording with his road musicians bassist Dee Murray, drummer Nigel Olsson and guitarist Davey Johnstone, setting the template for his most successful work during the 70’s. The album differs from his previous work as it is the first to not feature a string section since his debut release “Empty Sky” (though it features violin player Jean-Luc Ponty on two tracks). “Château” is also the last Elton John album to be released on the Uni Records imprint in the US and Canada, as the label is absorbed into MCA. It spins off two singles including “Honky Cat” (#8 US Pop, #31 UK) and “Rocket Man” (#6 US Pop, #2 UK). The remastered CD of the album released in 1995, includes one unreleased bonus track (alternative take of “Slave”) from the original recording sessions. Out of print on vinyl since 1989, the album is remastered and reissued as a 180 gram LP in 2012 as part of the box set “5 Classic Albums” in 2012. “Château” is also reissued as a stand along vinyl release in 2017. “Honky Château” spends five weeks at number one on the Billboard Top 200, peaking at number two on the UK album chart, and is certified Platinum in the US by the RIAA.

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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.

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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.

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On this day in music history: May 17, 1983 – &…

On this day in music history: May 17, 1983 – “Reach The Beach”, the second studio album by The Fixx is released. Produced by Rupert Hine, it is recorded at Farmyard Studios in Cotswolds, Oxfordshire, UK from Late 1982 – Early 1983. Following up their modestly successful debut release “Shuttered Room” from the year before, the London based new wave/pop/rock band once again work with producer Rupert Hine (Howard Jones, Chris De Burgh, Tina Turner), on the follow up. Mid way through the recording sessions, bassist Alfie Agius leaves the band (only being featured on four tracks) and is replaced by Dan K. Brown. The album becomes their most commercially successful, breaking The Fixx on a worldwide basis. It spins off three singles including “Saved By Zero” (#20 Pop), “One Thing Leads To Another” (#4 Pop), and “The Sign Of Fire” (#32 Pop). A re-recorded version of “Saved By Zero”, is later used in a series of commercials by auto manufacturer Toyota. Though the ad campaign brings renewed interest in The Fixx, as well as substantial royalties, the ads receive negative criticism from some fans. Part of the unfavorable reaction is due to the excessive number of times the commercials are run on television. At one point, the commercials are broadcast more than 42,000 times, spinning off articles in Time and Esquire Magazine about it. The commercials even inspire the creation of a Facebook group, allowing fans to voice their displeasure, and urging Toyota to pull the spots. In 2003, a remastered and expanded edition of the album is released including extended mixes of “Saved By Zero”, and “One Thing Leads To Another”, along with the track “Deeper And Deeper” (originally issued on the “Streets Of Fire” soundtrack), and the previously unreleased “Going Overboard”. “Reach The Beach” peaks at number eight 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: May 17, 1971 – &…

On this day in music history: May 17, 1971 – “RAM”, by Paul & Linda McCartney is released. Produced by Paul & Linda McCartney, it is recorded at Columbia Recording Studio in New York City from November – December 1970, A&R Recording Studios in New York City in January 1971, and Sound Recording Studios in Los Angeles, CA from February – March 1971. His second album following the break up of The Beatles, McCartney records in the US during the Winter of 1970/71. It is successful in spite of taking a major drubbing from critics. It also raises the ire of his former Beatle band mates, particularly John Lennon, who feels that several songs are directed at him. Lennon’s suspicions about this are further heightened by a photo of two beetles copulating on the back of the album jacket, and that it is another thinly veiled message against them. Lennon responds with “How Do You Sleep?” and “Crippled Inside”, included on his album “Imagine”. The front cover photo of McCartney holding a male sheep by the horns is spoofed by Lennon on a postcard inserted into the “Imagine” album, with John holding a pig by the ears. In spite of the negative critical response, the album is well received, and in time opinions change and is regarded as one of McCartney’s best albums. In the US, it is initially released without a single. Radio stations begin playing “Uncle Albert/Admiral Halsey” which is released as a single three months later, hitting #1 in September of 1971. During its original press run, some copies of the LP pressed by the Capitol Records Los Angeles plant, feature labels with a whole apple on both sides, rather than a cut half apple on side two. While not exceedingly rare, this pressing variation is sought after by collectors. In 2012, the album is remastered and reissued in various editions which include a four CD + DVD archival box set that also include the rare promo mono mix of the album as well as the long out of print album “Thrillington” (featuring instrumental versions of the songs played by an orchestra). The bonus disc also includes “Another Day” and it’s B-side “Oh Woman, Oh Why” (#5 Pop), as well as the later B-side “Little Woman Love” and other outtakes from the sessions. The mono version of “RAM”, originally issued as a promo only LP to radio stations in the US (issued in some foreign territories), is also released. The reissue faithfully replicates the promo release, coming in a plain white sleeve, with the title handwritten on the front and the credits on a typewritten insert. The album is remastered and reissued as a 180 gram vinyl LP in December of 2017, on standard black and limited edition yellow vinyl. “RAM” hits number one on the UK album chart, peaking at number two on the Billboard Top 200, and is certified Platinum in the US by the RIAA.

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