Category: self titled album

On this day in music history: September 5, 197…

On this day in music history: September 5, 1973 – “Buckingham Nicks”, the sole album by Buckingham Nicks is released. Produced by Keith Olsen, it is recorded at Sound City Studios in Van Nuys, CA from Early – Mid 1973. Guitarist Lindsey Buckingham and vocalist Stevie Nicks meet while both were high school students in Atherton, CA. They become romantically involved and musical collaborators in the band Fritz. Both eventually drop out of college, moving to L.A. to pursue their mutual goal of making it in music business. Taking odd jobs to support themselves, Lindsey and Stevie begin recording demos of their songs, when not long after they meet recording engineer and producer Keith Olsen of Sound City Studios. Olsen take the duo under his wing, living in his home for a time with Nicks working as Olsen’s housekeeper. They also meet Ted Feigan and Lee LaSeffe who shop the pairs demos around and secure them a deal with Polydor Records. The album is recorded with a number of top L.A. studio musicians including Jim Keltner (drums), Jerry Scheff (bass) Jorge Calderón (percussion) and Waddy Wachtel (guitars). Despite high hopes for its success, Polydor does very little to promote it. The project is a commercial flop and the duo are dropped from the label. Disappointed by the failure, the duo resume working day jobs to get by. A little more than a year after, fate intervenes when Mick Fleetwood is in town looking for a studio to record Fleetwood Mac’s next album. While at Sound City, Keith Olsen plays the track “Cryin’ In The Night” from Buckingham Nicks’ album to demonstrate the recording console. Very impressed by what he hears, Fleetwood asks Lindsey to join the band. Buckingham agrees, but only if Mick takes Stevie as a member also. He consents, and the pair officially join Fleetwood Mac on New Years Day of 1975. The song “Crystal” from the duos album is re-recorded and featured on their first album with Fleetwood Mac. With their rise to stardom in Fleetwood Mac, fans discover the “Buckingham Nicks” album, turning it into a cult classic. Never charting on the Billboard Top 200, it charts only briefly on Billboards Catalog (#28) and Midline LP charts (#43) in 1983 after the release of Fleetwood Mac’s “Mirage”, before going out of print. To date, there has never been an official CD release, though it has been widely bootlegged, with as many as an additional dozen unreleased tracks surface. A demo recording of “Without You” from the sessions is released on Apple iTunes April of 2013, “Stephanie” (on a promo CD from Buckingham titled “Words and Music (A Retrospective)” in 1992) and “Long Distance Winner” (on Nicks’ “Enchanted” box set), presently remain the only officially sanctioned releases associated with the album to date, though talk continues about an official reissue of the original album.

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On this day in music history: September 4, 197…

On this day in music history: September 4, 1976 – “Fleetwood Mac” by Fleetwood Mac hits #1 on the Billboard Top 200 for 1 week. Produced by Fleetwood Mac and Keith Olsen, it is recorded at Sound City Studios in Van Nuys, CA in February 1975. Released in July 1975, the album is the first to feature new members Lindsey Buckingham (guitar, vocals) and Stevie Nicks (vocals), replacing guitarist Bob Welch when he departs for a solo career. The album marks the beginning of the band moving from having a solid cult following the the US to becoming one of the biggest bands in the world. Though it gets off to a modest start, steadily building momentum as the band tours tirelessly in support of it. It eventually spins off three singles including “Rhiannon” (#11 Pop), “Say You Love Me” (#11 Pop) and “Over My Head” (#20 Pop). “Fleetwood Mac” sets a new precedent for the slowest climb to number one, taking a then record fifty eight weeks from the time it first enters the Top 200 chart in late July of 1975. The record stands until 1989 when Paula Abdul’s “Forever Your Girl” hits #1 in its sixty fourth week on the Top 200. “Fleetwood Mac” breaks into the Top 10 on September 27, 1975, climbing to #9 a week later before slipping out of the Top 10. It does not return until February 21, 1976 in its thirtieth week. Bolstered by the singles “Rhiannon”, “Say You Love Me” and airplay favorite “Landside”, the album remains in the Top 10 until October 30, 1976. “Fleetwood Mac” is certified 5x Platinum in the US by the RIAA.

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On this day in music history: August 25, 1976 …

On this day in music history: August 25, 1976 – “Boston”, the debut album by Boston is released. Produced by Tom Scholz and John Boylan, it is recorded at Foxglove Studios in Watertown, MA, Capitol Studios in Hollywood, CA and The Record Plant in Los Angeles, CA from October 1975 – April 1976. A graduate from MIT (Massachusetts Instutute Of Technology) with a Master’s Degree in Mechanical Engineering, Tom Scholz works in the daytime as a product design engineer for Polaroid. A classically trained pianist from childhood, Scholz also has a deep interest in music, and he kicks around the local Boston bar and club scene, playing in various bands. When he tires of that grind, he develops his concept for “the perfect band” with fellow musician Jim Masdea. The two build a recording studio in the basement of Scholz’s home and begin working on songs. While playing in the band Mother’s Milk, they meet guitarist Barry Goudreau and vocalist Brad Delp who both become part of their studio project. By 1973, they have recorded a six song demo tape (containing very early versions of songs featured on the first album) of which copies are sent to every record label, and receive rejections from all of them. Undaunted, the band keep working away. In 1975, they begin to attract major record label attention with CBS distributed Epic Records signing the band. Epic insists that they record in a proper studio, while Scholz is much more comfortable working in his basement studio. Co-producer John Boylan runs interference between the band and record company making them believe they are actually recording in Los Angeles, when they actually are not. With the exception of some overdubbing done at outside studios, the bulk of the album is recorded in Scholz’s basement. Once released, the album gets off to a gradual start, until radio catches wind of the band. Scholz’s sonically perfect production anchored by lead singer Brad Delp’s soaring vocals, turns it into one of the most successful debut albums of all time. The albums sales quickly kick into overdrive, selling over two million copies in its first four months of release, and six million within a year. It spins off three singles including “More Than A Feeling” (#5 Pop), “Long Time” (#22 Pop), and “Peace Of Mind” (#38 Pop), all becoming among the most played singles in the history of mainstream rock radio. Boston also receives a Grammy nomination for Best New Artist in 1977. Also revered for its excellent engineering and mix, the album is reissued numerous times in limited runs as an audiophile Gold CD, SACD and 180 gram vinyl LP. To commemorate its fortieth anniversary, it is reissued as a picture disc by Sony Legacy in 2016. “Boston” peaks at number three on the Billboard Top 200, and is certified 17x Platinum in the US by the RIAA, earning a Diamond Certification.

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On this day in music history: August 19, 1985 …

On this day in music history: August 19, 1985 – “The Family” by The Family is released. Produced by Prince & David Z. (credited to David Z. & The Family), it is recorded at The Flying Cloud Drive Warehouse in Eden Prairie, MN and Sunset Sound Recorders in Hollywood, CA from June – October 1984, and December 1984 – March 1985. In between the release of the soundtrack and film for “Purple Rain”, Prince begins work on yet another project for his massively prolific musical output. Having started sessions for his own next album “Around The World In A Day”, Prince creates the band The Family, centering around his then girlfriend singer Susannah Melvoin (the twin sister of Revolution guitarist Wendy Melvoin), former Time members keyboardist Paul Peterson, drummer “Jellybean” Johnson, Jerome Benton, and saxophonist Eric Leeds. Like many other Prince side projects, the songs are credited to the group members, but in actuality seven of the albums eight songs are written by Prince (”Yes” co-written with Leeds), with the exception of “River Run Dry” which is written by Revolution drummer Bobby Z. The basic tracks are cut almost in their entirety at the warehouse on Flying Cloud Drive, the location that was used for filming scenes for “Purple Rain” and acts as a rehearsal space. Recording only ceases when the “Purple Rain Tour” begins in November of 1984, with sessions wedged in between tour dates. Arranger Claire Fischer adds his string accompaniment in L.A. in late 1984/early 1985. The album is well received upon its release, spinning off two singles including “The Screams Of Passion” (#9 R&B, #10 Club Play, #63 Pop) and “High Fashion” (#34 R&B). The album also includes the first recording of “Nothing Compares 2 U”, which becomes a fan favorite, and huge international hit in 1990 when it is covered by Irish singer Sinead O’Connor.  Released on vinyl and cassette only in the US and throughout most of the world, the album is only released on CD in Europe and Japan on a very limited basis, making it one of the most sought after and valuable Prince related collectibles.  The Family’s existence is brief, with the band coming apart after Prince and Susannah’s romantic relationship ends. The Family reunite in 2003 for a one off live performance, then again in 2009 under the name fDeluxe, recording three more studio albums and one live album since 2011. “The Family” peaks at number seventeen on the Billboard R&B album chart, and number sixty two on the Top 200.

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On this day in music history: August 18, 1975 …

On this day in music history: August 18, 1975 – “Daryl Hall & John Oates” (aka “The Silver Album”), the fourth album by Daryl Hall & John Oates is released. Produced by Daryl Hall, John Oates and Christopher Bond, it is recorded at Larrabee Sound Studios and Western Sound Recorders in Los Angeles, CA from Early – Mid 1975. By the mid 1970’s, Hall & Oates are still struggling to find the musical sound and style that defines them. After recording three poor selling albums for Atlantic Records between 1972 and 1974, the duo are dropped by the label. Though they are far from being a spent force, when Tavares lands an R&B chart topper with their cover of Hall & Oates’ “She’s Gone”, also being recorded by Lou Rawls. At the time, Daryl and John’s original version is a big regional hit in their hometown of Philadelphia, but only manages to crawl to #60 on the Billboard Hot 100 in early 1974. With the buzz generated by “She’s Gone”, the duo’s manager Tommy Mottola is able to get them signed to RCA Records. The pair work with musician and co-producer Christopher Bond, then head out to Los Angeles to record their fourth album. Armed with a batch of solid original material, Hall & Oates are supported by a number of top studio musicians including Clarence McDonald (keyboards), Jim Gordon, Ed Greene, Michael Baird (drums), Scott Edwards, Leland Sklar (bass), and Gary Coleman (percussion). Looking to stretch out and try different things in the studio, the duo rely on Chris Bond to come up with tight arrangements for the songs, often with the parts being concisely written out for the musicians. For “Sara Smile” (#4 Pop, #23 R&B, #18 AC), written by Hall for his girlfriend Sara Allen, he also has something specific in mind when it comes to recording the drum tracks. Huge fans of R&B superstar Al Green’s records, Hall and Bond look to replicate the loud and dry sound of drummer Al Jackson’s kit. Standing in sharp contrast to the current “high tech” modern drum sound on many records of the day, they take a different approach. Bond records drummer Ed Greene, by miking his kit completely with Shure SM57 microphones (dubbing it “The $300 Drum Sound”). They also put a canopy over the top of the drums, deaden the sound and achieve the desired sound. Daryl sings his lead vocal live during takes, only going back to punch in the first “Sara” on the first chorus. With the album completed, then comes the task of creating the packaging. Hall & Oates hire artist Pierre LaRoche, who has previously worked as a make up artist for Mick Jagger, and assisted David Bowie in cultivating his “Ziggy Stardust” look. The Frenchman promises Hall & Oates that he will “immortalize them”, with the concept and design he creates for their album cover. LaRoche gives the duo a flamboyant and androgynous make over, with heavy make up and unisex clothing. The lyric sheet insert includes a photo of the duo, with Hall wearing a leather jumpsuit, and a sitting Oates appears to be nude. Also known as “The Silver Album”, due to the aluminized silver foil finish (later changed to a flat grey color on reissues) found on the originally printed album covers, it attracts as much attention as the music itself. It leads many to speculate about the duo’s sexual orientation for many years, though both men are straight. Daryl Hall will later joke that the cover made him “look like the girl I always wanted to date”. The album is initially slow to take off, when the first two singles “Camellia” and “Alone Too Long” (#88 R&B) fail to generate much attention. “Sara Smile” is issued as the third single in late January of 1976, and rescues the album from oblivion. Becoming a top five pop smash and their first million selling single, “Sara” and “The Silver Album” give Daryl Hall & John Oates their first major taste of success. So much so, that it leads Atlantic to reissue “She’s Gone” in July of 1976, taking it into the pop top ten, and propelling “Abandoned Luncheonette” past the Gold mark (later Platinum) in sales. Originally released on CD in 1984, the album is remastered and reissued on BMG label Buddha Records in 2000, with two bonus tracks. Out of print on vinyl for nearly thirty years, it is reissued by Megaforce Records in 2018, on standard black and limited edition pink vinyl. The latter vinyl pressing is part of the “Ten Bands One Cause” series, with the sales being donated to late comedienne Gilda Radner’s “Gilda’s Club NYC”, the support group established for women with breast cancer and their families. “Daryl Hall & John Oates” peaks at number seventeen 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: August 13, 1991 …

On this day in music history: August 13, 1991 – “Cypress Hill”, the debut album by Cypress Hill is released. Produced by DJ Muggs, it is recorded at Image Recording Studio in Los Angeles, CA and Studio 4 Recording in Philadelphia, PA from Late 1990 – Early 1991. Formed in 1989, Los Angeles, CA based rap group are signed Columbia’s Ruffhouse Records imprint on the strength of an early demo recording the group makes. Their first album breakdown and change the sound of Hip Hop with DJ Muggs’ (Lawrence Muggerud) unique production style, a mixture of murky sounding Funk, R&B, and Jazz based samples, lyrics about their upbringings in South Gate district of Los Angeles, and the starkly contrasting vocals of rappers B-Real (Louis Freese) and Sen Dog (Senen Reyes), strikes a nerve in the Hip Hop community. With solid support from underground college radio, the groundbreaking album spins off seven singles, and winning the group a large and loyal fan base. The original vinyl LP is deleted shortly after its original release, but is reissued several times in more recent years. In 1999, UK label Music On Vinyl reissues the album as two LP set pressed on 180 gram vinyl for improved sound quality. In 2011 to commemorate the twentieth anniversary of its release, Get On Down Records reissues “Cypress Hill” in its original single vinyl LP format, pressed on limited edition red vinyl. Two editions of this release are issued, with one featuring the regular LP jacket artwork, and a special edition with an outer slip case featuring the groups skull logo printed on a silver/gray background. Get On Down releases another vinyl pressing in January of 2016 to mark the landmark albums twenty-fifth anniversary. This edition is pressed on clear vinyl and limited to only 700 copies. “Cypress Hill” peaks at number four on the Billboard R&B album chart, number thirty one on the Top 200, and is certified 2x Platinum in the US by the RIAA.

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On this day in music history: August 12, 1991 …

On this day in music history: August 12, 1991 – “Metallica”, the fifth album by Metallica is released. Produced by Bob Rock, James Hetfield and Lars Ulrich, it is recorded at One On One Recording Studios in North Hollywood, CA and Little Mountain Sound Studios in Vancouver, B.C., Canada from October 6, 1990 – June 16, 1991. Impressed with his work on label mate Mötley Crüe’s “Dr. Feelgood” album, the veteran metal band hire producer Bob Rock to produce the follow up to their successful fourth album “…And Justice For All”. Musically, it differs from previous Metallica albums, with many of the songs having slower tempos than the band’s trademark high velocity “thrash metal” style. The recording sessions with Rock are often tense as he pushes the band members outside their normal comfort zone within the studio. The intense atmosphere spills over into their personal lives as well, with Hetfield, Ulrich and bassist Jason Newsted all winding up divorced from their spouses by the time recording is completed. In spite of all of the turmoil, the album is a huge critical and commercial success, launching Metallica into the mainstream on a worldwide basis. Nicknamed “The Black Album” by fans (for its stark black cover featuring the bands logo and a coiled snake in dark grey print), it spins off six singles including “Enter Sandman” (#16 Pop, #10 Mainstream Rock), “Sad But True” (#98 Pop, #15 Mainstream Rock), “The Unforgiven” (#35 Pop, #10 Mainstream Rock) and “Nothing Else Matters” (#34 Pop, #11 Mainstream Rock). The album wins a Grammy Award for Best Metal Performance in 1992. Available on vinyl only sporadically since its original limited run in the format in 1991, the album is issued equally limited pressings as a four LP set mastered at 45 RPM in 2008, and a two LP set by Simply Vinyl in 2000. It is remastered an reissued again as a double vinyl 180 gram LP set in 2015. “Metallica” spends four weeks at number one on the Billboard Top 200, and is certified 16x Platinum in the US by the RIAA, earning a Diamond Ceritification.

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On this day in music history: August 11, 1982 …

On this day in music history: August 11, 1982 – “Vanity 6”, the debut album by Vanity 6 is released. Produced by Prince (aka “The Starr Company”), it is recorded at Kiowa Trail Home Studio in Chanhassen, MN and Sunset Sound in Hollywood, CA from July – August 1981, March – April 1982. Having toured with and having had a sometimes contentious rivalry with musician Rick James, Prince decides to put together a girl group, after seeing James’ female background vocalists The Mary Jane Girls. Originally dubbed “The Hookers”, Prince pairs his then girlfriend Denise Matthews (aka “Vanity”) together with his former girlfriend Susan Moonsie and wardrobe mistress Brenda Bennett, forming the group. Prince’s personal assistant Jamie Shoop is initially intended to be the third member, but is dropped from the group after he meets and begins a relationship with Matthews. Ironically she had dated Rick James before Prince. The female vocal trio is created as another outlet for Prince’s prolific songwriting output, though the songs are credited to the individual group members. Initially, three songs are cut for the project in the Summer and Fall of 1981 before stopping to embark on the Controversy Tour. The remaining five songs are recorded during March and April of 1982. Playing most of the instruments himself, Prince also enlists assistance from band mate Dez Dickerson and Time members Jesse Johnson and Terry Lewis who also co-write songs. The albums initial single, “He’s So Dull” (later featured in “National Lampoon’s Vacation”) fails to make an impact, and is quickly followed up with “Nasty Girl” in September of 1982. The sexually provocative and funky track becomes an immediate smash on club dance floors, and on R&B radio. The song is later featured in the Spike Lee directed film “Girl 6” in 1996. Original vinyl and cassette copies of the album feature labels that read “Side 1 and Side 6” instead of 1 and 2. It spins off four singles including “Nasty Girl” (#7 R&B, #1 Club Play, #101 Pop), “Bite The Beat” and “Drive Me Wild”. “Wild”, initially released as the B-side of “Nasty Girl”, receives significant play on radio and in clubs, prompting Prince to remix and extend (while concurrently remixing his own “Little Red Corvette”) the originally two and a half minute track to over an seven minute work out. Adding a funky rhythm guitar and stinging solo lead, it is released as a 12" and edited 7" in March of 1983. Part of the initial press run of the US LP come with a 18 x 22" poster of the group (taken by photographer Allen Beaulieu), that becomes a rare and coveted collector’s item. Originally released on CD in 1988, the album has been out of print since the mid 90’s, commanding a premium price on the collector’s market due to its enduring popularity, also being heavily bootlegged as a result. “Vanity 6” peaks at number six on the Billboard R&B album chart, number forty five on the Top 200, and is certified Gold in the US by the RIAA.

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On this day in music history: August 5, 1977 -…

On this day in music history: August 5, 1977 – “Brick”, the second album by Brick is released. Produced by Phil Benton, Ed Seay and Brick, it is recorded at Web IV Studios in Atlanta, GA from May – June 1977. With a Gold selling album (“Good High”) and a Platinum selling single (“Dazz”) under their belts, the Atlanta, GA based R&B quintet Brick begin writing and recording their sophomore release. Moving away from the jazzier aspects of their first album, the band still maintain their funky driving edge, balanced with catchy and accessible hooks. The sessions produce another set of smoking grooves, led by the first single “Dusic” (#2 R&B, 18 Pop) released in tandem with the album in the late Summer of 1977. Much like its predecessor “Dazz”, “Dusic” recalls that hit, featuring all five band members singing together in unison. It becomes another top five R&B smash for Brick, and is their second and final top 20 single on the pop chart. However, it is the follow up that enjoys the longest lasting legacy from the album. “Ain’t Gonna Hurt Nobody” (#7 R&B, #92 Pop) primarily featuring Jimmy Brown on lead vocals, also becomes another instant R&B classic. The song is sampled by Philadelphia based rap group Three Times Dope on the track “Joe Familiar”, by Miami Bass artist Chilla Frauste on “The Mind in 1989. Though the best known use of "Ain’t Gonna Hurt Nobody” is by Kid ‘N’ Play in 1991, with the duo flipping the R&B/Funk classic into a new jack swing flavored rap/sung hybrid. “Dusic” is sampled a number of times also, by the likes of MC Hammer, Rodney O. & Joe Cooley, Schoolly D., Master P, Hi-C and Insane Clown Posse. Other tracks from Brick’s self-titled second album including the equally funky “Living From The Mind” (sampled by Yaggfu Front on “Lookin’ For A Contract” in 1993) and “We Don’t Wanna’ Sit Down (We Wanna’ Git Down)” (sampled by Luke Feat. 2 Live Crew on “Do The Bart”, Original Concept on “Gottanotha Funky Break 4 U Hit It!” and Toddy Tee on “Do You Wanna Go To The Liquor Store”) also become fan favorites and are also sampled. “Brick” becomes the band’s highest charting album overall, selling nearly a million copies in the US. The album goes out of print for many years following Bang Records shifting from independent distribution, to being distributed by, and eventually purchased and absorbed by CBS Records (now Sony Music Entertainment) in the early 80’s. It is reissued briefly on CD in 1997 by RSI Records. It is reissued again 2011 by Wounded Bird Records, with the single edits of both “Dusic” and “Ain’t Gonna Hurt Nobody” as additional bonus tracks. It is also reissued as part of a two-fer CD set with “Good High” on Cherry Red Records subsidiary Robinsongs Records in 2016. “Brick” spends two weeks at number one on the Billboard R&B album chart, and peaking at number fifteen on the Top 200.

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On this day in music history: August 5, 1969 -…

On this day in music history: August 5, 1969 – “The Stooges”, the debut album by The Stooges is released. Produced by John Cale, it is recorded at Russ Gibb’s Grande Ballroom in Detroit, MI on October 30 – 31, 1968. Recorded in just two days with Velvet Underground multi-instrumentalist John Cale, Cale’s original mix of the album is rejected by Elektra (four of the rejected mixes are released on a reissue of the album in 2005), with the actual released version being remixed by Iggy Pop and label founder Jac Holzman. Featuring such proto-punk classics as “No Fun” and “I Wanna Be Your Dog”, it becomes highly influential, providing the inspiration for the Punk Rock music genre in the 70’s. The bands frontman Iggy Pop is widely acknowledged as the godfather of the punk movement. The vinyl LP is reissued by Sundazed Music in 2002, with the CD version being remastered and reissued in 2005, featuring several of John Cale’s original mixes, alternate vocal performances, outtakes and full unedited versions. An expanded two CD collector’s edition is released by Rhino Records in 2010, featuring more rare and previously unreleased tracks and a bonus 7" of the track “Asthma Attack”. The initial press run are incorrectly labeled with discs one and two reversed, with those CD’s using the gold Elektra label. They are quickly corrected with the second pressings featuring the red Elektra label used on the original 1969 LP pressings. Rhino also reissues the album as a 180 gram vinyl LP the same year. “The Stooges” peaks at number one hundred six on the Billboard Top 200.

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