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On this day in music history: March 19, 1990 -…

On this day in music history: March 19, 1990 – “Violator”, the seventh studio album by Depeche Mode is released. Produced by Depeche Mode and Flood, it is recorded at PUK Studios in Copenhagen, Denmark, The Church, Master Rock Studios in London, Axis Studios in New York City and Logic Studios in Milan, Italy from May 1989 – January 1990. After years of cultivating an ever growing and loyal fan base around the world, the synth-pop band from Basildon, Essex, UK return to the studio in the Spring of 1989 to record the follow up to “Music For The Masses”. Depeche Mode co-produce their new album with Flood (aka Mark Ellis), best known for his work with U2, Ministry, and Nick Cave And The Bad Seeds. Unlike previous Depeche Mode albums which stick very rigidly by Martin Gore’s original song demos, the band take a different approach when recording the final tracks. With Gore writing songs with very skeletal arrangements, it allows the others more freedom in helping shape them in the studio, often with great results that were not originally envisioned. The full album’s release is proceeded by the single “Personal Jesus” (#28 Pop, #3 Modern Rock, #12 Club Play), in late August of 1989. Issued nearly seven months in front of “Violator”, the hypnotic guitar driven single gives Depeche Mode their first top 40 single in the US since “People Are People” over four years before. It also becomes the band’s first Gold single stateside. It is Depeche Mode’s breakthrough album on a worldwide basis, and their most commercially successful in the US. The album spins off three additional singles including “Enjoy The Silence” (#8 Pop, #1 Modern Rock, #6 Club Play), “Policy Of Truth” (#15 Pop, #1 Modern Rock, #2 Club Play) and “World In My Eyes” (#52 Pop, #17 Modern Rock, #6 Club Play). All of the accompanying music videos, are directed by Dutch born photographer and director Anton Corbijn. The band support the album with the extensive “World Violation” Tour throughout 1990. “Violator” spends a total of seventy four weeks on the US album chart. In 2006, the album is remastered and reissued as a high definition Super Audio Compact Disc (SACD) with bonus tracks, including a bonus DVD featuring the documentary “Depeche Mode 1989–90 (If You Wanna Use Guitars, Use Guitars)”, along with “Violator” remixed into DTS and Dolby Digital 5.1 surround sound. Originally issued in very limited quantities on vinyl, it is also reissued as a 180 gram vinyl LP in 2014 and again in 2016. “Violator” peaks at number two on the UK album chart, number seven on the Billboard Top 200, and is certified 3x Platinum in the US by the RIAA.

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On this day in music history: March 19, 1982 -…

On this day in music history: March 19, 1982 – Ozzy Osbourne lead guitarist Randy Rhoads, make up artist and wardrobe mistress Rachel Youngblood and pilot/tour bus driver Andrew Aycock are killed in a plane crash in Leesburg, FL. During a stop in the “Diary Of A Madman” tour, Ozzy’s entourage makes a stop at the home of Jerry Calhoun. Aycock, Rhoads, and Youngblood take a flight on a single engine Beechcraft Bonanza. The pilot repeatedly buzzes the tour bus as a prank while the rest of the entourage is asleep. On the fourth pass, the plane clips the side of the bus, then a tree and the plane crashes into a house killing all three instantly. Osbourne is so devastated and depressed at the loss, that he considers retiring from music entirely. He later pays tribute to the guitarist with the release of the live album (featuring concert performances recorded between 1980 – 1982 with Rhoads on lead guitar) “Tribute” on the fifth anniversary of the plane crash in March of 1987.

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On this day in music history: March 19, 1976 -…

On this day in music history: March 19, 1976 – “Takin’ It To The Streets”, the sixth studio album by The Doobie Brothers is released. Produced by Ted Templeman, it is recorded at Warner Brothers Studios in N. Hollywood, CA in Late 1975. Issued as the follow up to “Stampede”, it is the first album to include new lead singer and keyboard player Michael McDonald, replacing original lead vocalist Tom Johnston who is sidelined with stomach ulcers. McDonald is recommended to the the other band members by guitarist Jeff “Skunk” Baxter, who had been band mates with him in Steely Dan. Initially hired to fill in for Johnston on a tour, they like him so much that they invite him to become a permanent member of the band. The addition of McDonald to the band brings the Doobies to a new plateau of commercial success, broadening their fan base. However, some fans of the bands earlier sound are critical of the change, feeling that McDonald’s more pop oriented “blue eyed soul” sound, has smoothed out some of The Doobies rock based edge. The album quickly spins off three singles including “It Keeps You Runnin’” (#37 Pop) and the title track (#13 Pop). Making its CD debut in 1988, it is remastered and reissued by Warner Bros Japan in 2005. “Streets” is also reissued as a limited edition, individually numbered hybrid SACD by Mobile Fidelity Sound Lab in 2010. Out of print on vinyl since the late 80’s, it is remastered and reissued by Music On Vinyl in 2013, and by Friday Music in 2014. “Takin’ It To The Streets” peaks at number eight on the Billboard Top 200, and is certified Platinum in the US by the RIAA.

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On this day in music history: March 19, 1975 -…

On this day in music history: March 19, 1975 – “Dressed To Kill”, the third studio album by KISS is released. Produced by Neil Bogart and KISS, it is recorded at Electric Lady Studios in New York City in February 1975. After their self-titled debut and the follow up “Hotter Than Hell” fail to score with the public, the New York based hard rock band find themselves at a career crossroads. KISS’ third album is produced by Casablanca label head Bogart and the band largely as a cost cutting measure due to the labels teetering near the brink of bankruptcy after severing ties with their original distributor Warner Bros Records, and resorting to independent distribution. Though only a modest success at the time of its release spins off a number of classics including “Rock And Roll All Nite”, “Rock Bottom”, “C’mon And Love Me”, and “She”. The album’s cover photo features the band dressed in suits (the ones worn by Stanley, Simmons, and Frehley) borrowed from their manager Bill Aucoin’s closet. First issued on CD in the late 80’s, it is remastered and reissued in 1997. It is also reissued as a 180 gram vinyl LP in 2014. “Dressed To Kill” peaks at number thirty two 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: March 19, 1974 -…

On this day in music history: March 19, 1974 – “Buddha And The Chocolate Box”, the eighth album by Cat Stevens is released. Produced by Cat Stevens and Paul Samwell-Smith, it is recorded at Sound Techniques Studios in London in February 1974. Issued as the follow up to “Foreigner”, it is a return to the quieter, more acoustic guitar and piano based sound of Cat Stevens’ hugely successful “Tea For The Tillerman” and “Teaser And Firecat” albums. The songs on “Buddha” are a meditation on Stevens’ feelings of being caught between the spiritual and material world, and is an early indication of the path his career and personal life takes in the coming years. The title comes to him while flying on a plane to a gig, with a box of chocolates in one hand and a buddha figurine in the other. It spins off the single “Oh Very Young” (#10 Pop, #2 AC). The original album is remastered and reissued in 2000, restoring all of the original artwork missing from previous CD issues of album, including a limited edition numbered digipak. “Buddha And The Chocolate Box” peaks at number two on the Billboard Top 200, and is certified Platinum in the US by the RIAA.

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On this day in music history: March 19, 1974 -…

On this day in music history: March 19, 1974 – “For The Love Of Money” by The O’Jays is released. Written by Kenny Gamble, Leon Huff and Anthony Jackson, it is the thirty sixth single release for the R&B vocal group from Canton, OH. Together since 1958, The O’Jays finally achieve major success in 1972 with the album “Back Stabbers”. Of all the groups that Kenny Gamble and Leon Huff work with, the duo use the R&B vocal trio’s soulful and forceful voices to deliver many of their “message” songs about relationships, brotherhood and morality. Gamble and Huff continue using these themes as they work on new material. “For The Love Of Money” is inspired in part by a passage taken out of the bible, in the book of 1 Timothy 6:10 which states “For the love of money is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows.” From that verse, Gamble and Huff’s song warns of how greed can lead people to compromise their integrity, and do harm to themselves or others in the process. The basic track is recorded at Sigma Sound Studios in Philadelphia on October 3, 1973, with members of the studio collective MFSB playing on the track. Rather than regular bassist Ronnie Baker, playing on the session is Anthony Jackson. A virtuoso “man for all seasons”, Jackson goes on to make his reputation with numerous musical legends including Roberta Flack, Steely Dan, Quincy Jones, Chaka Khan, Paul Simon, and Pat Metheny to name a few. During the session, engineer Joe Tarsia notices that Jackson has a wah wah pedal plugged in with his bass. Tarsia records the bass and drum tracks both dry, and with an Eventide phase shifter fed into the signal chain. When Gamble and Huff hear the track with the phasing added, they decide to keep it on the finished track. They also give Jackson a co-writing credit for coming up with the insidiously funky bass line that is at the foundation. Shortly after, The O’Jays record their vocals at another session. While mixing the song, Gamble adds additional echo to the bass during the intro before abruptly shutting it off, leaving it in the final mix. Running nearly seven and a half minutes, it is edited down to under four minutes and released as the second single from “Ship Ahoy” in early 1974. “For The Love Of Money” is an immediate smash on the dance floor and on radio, with its powerful message and groove. It also receives a Grammy nomination for Best R&B Vocal Performance By A Duo Or Group in 1975. In time the song permeates popular culture, being covered by various artists, and The O’Jays’ original version being widely sampled on rap and dance tracks. The song is also re-recorded in a medley with Stevie Wonder’s “Living For The City” by singer Eddie Levert’s sons Gerald and Sean with their group Levert, Queen Latifah and Troop for the film “New Jack City” in 1991. “For The Love Of Money” is certified Gold in the US by the RIAA.

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On this day in music history: March 19, 1971 -…

On this day in music history: March 19, 1971 – “Aqualung”, the fourth album by Jethro Tull is released in the UK (US release is on May 3, 1971). Produced by Ian Anderson and Terry Ellis, it is recorded at Island Studios in London from December 1970 – February 1971. A concept album (though the band state otherwise) about “the distinction between religion and God”, it quickly becomes a staple of album rock radio after its release, spinning off the classics “Locomotive Breath” and the title track. The two LP sides are subtitled after their lead tracks “Aqualung” and “My God”. The album is Jethro Tull’s most successful, selling over seven million copies worldwide. Original US Reprise LP pressings feature a slightly shorter version of “Aqualung” with three seconds edited off of the intro. The albums’ famous cover artwork features a watercolor painting by American artist Burton Silverman of a shabbily dressed man with long hair and a beard. Silverman is commissioned to create the painting from a photograph taken by Ian Anderson’s wife, of a homeless man she sees standing next to the Thames River. The album is remastered and reissued several times, in 1996 and 1998 with six bonus tracks. It is reissued again for its fortieth anniversary in 2011, remixed and remastered by Steven Wilson (due to an excessive amount of deterioration and damage on the original master tapes) adding an additional fourteen bonus tracks. Also reissued as a 180 gram LP, the vinyl edition also includes a booklet with liner notes and photos from the CD/DVD box set, as well as an mp3 download card of the full album. “Aqualung” peaks at number four on the UK album chart, number seven on the Billboard Top 200, and is certified 3x Platinum in the US by the RIAA.

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On this day in music history: March 19, 1962 -…

On this day in music history: March 19, 1962 – “Bob Dylan”, the debut album by Bob Dylan is released. Produced by John H. Hammond, it is recorded at Columbia Records 30th Street Studios in New York City from November 20 – 22, 1961. Signed to Columbia Records by legendary A&R man John Hammond, he sees the young folk singer and musician at the apartment of fellow musician Carolyn Hester and her husband Richard Farina. Hammond is so impressed with Dylan that he immediately offers him a record contract. Dylan records his debut album, made up of folk and blues standards and two original songs, in just three days. Upon its release, the album receives very little notice, selling only 2500 copies initially, leading Dylan to be referred to as “Hammond’s Folly” by other Columbia executives. Though in the years that follow it receives greater acclaim and gains sales. The album is remastered and reissued on CD in 2005, also being reissued as a 180 gram vinyl LP in 2010. Audiophile label Mobile Fidelity Sound Lab release the title as a double 180 gram vinyl LP mastered at 45 RPM, and hybrid SACD in 2014. “Bob Dylan” does not chart on the Billboard Top 200.

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twixnmix: Sonny and Cher photographed by Marti…

twixnmix:

Sonny and Cher photographed by Martin Mills at home in Beverly Hills, 1971.