Music History Monday: October 1

Posted by Jeff Harris, October 1, 2012 02:10pm | Post a Comment
On this day in music history: October 1, 1961Blue Hawaii, the 14th album by Elvis Presley is released. Produced by Steve Sholes, it is recorded at Radio Recorders in Hollywood from March 21 - 23, 1961. Issued as the soundtrack to Presley's eighth film, the album is an enormous success. The songs will underscore its story and tropical Hawaiian locale, also including cover versions of traditional "Aloha 'Oe" and "The Hawaiian Wedding Song." The soundtrack will spin off the classic "Can't Help Falling In Love" (#2 Pop), which will become one of Presley's signature songs and a live performance staple as the closing song of his shows during the '70's. Blue Hawaii will spend 20 weeks at #1 on the Billboard Top 200 and a total of 39 weeks in the Top 10, making it the second most successful movie soundtrack of the 1960's behind West Side Story. To date, the soundtrack has been certified 3x Platinum in the US by the RIAA.

On this day in music history: October 1, 1977 - "Star Wars Theme/Cantina Band" by Meco hits #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 for two weeks. Written by John Williams, it will be the biggest hit for the classically trained musician from Johnsonburg, PA.  Musician and record producer Domenico "Meco" Monardo, impressed with composer/conductor Williams' score for the blockbuster film Star Wars, will re-arrange the entire score into a 15 minute long disco suite that is released on the album Star Wars And Other Galactic Funk (issued on Casablanca subsidiary Millennium Records). The track features a group of 75 musicians, including a number of first call studio players such as Steve Gadd, Will Lee, Marcus Miller, Anthony Jackson, Neil Jason, David Spinozza, John Tropea, Alan Rubin, Randy Brecker, Jon Faddis, Suzanne Ciani, and Gene Orloff. The main theme and "Cantina Band" are extracted from the extended track and edited down to 45 length. "Star Wars Theme/Cantina Band" will be certified Platinum in the US by the RIAA for sales of over two million copies.

On this day in music history: October 1, 1977 - "It's Ecstasy When You Lay Down Next To Me" by Barry White hits #1 on the Billboard R&B singles chart for five weeks, also peaking at #4 on the Hot 100 on November 12th. Written by Nelson Pigford and Ekundayo Paris, it will be the fifth and final R&B chart topper for The Maestro. Session singer Nelson Pigford ("Gonna Fly Now (Theme From Rocky)") and songwriter Ekundayo Paris (The Grass Roots' "Sooner Or Later") will meet while Paris is a music student at Los Angeles City College and begin writing songs together. White will receive a copy of the duo's original demo recording from the brother of his string arranger Gene Page. White will listen to the demo while on a European tour, and by the time he returns to the US he will give it a dramatic rearrangement that bares almost no resemblance to the original composition. A huge R&B hit and pop crossover smash, it is certified Gold in the US by the RIAA. It will be Barry White's fifth and final million-selling single. In 1994, the song will be sampled as the basis of Mary J. Blige's hit single "You Bring Me Joy".

On this day in music history: October 1, 1983 - "Total Eclipse Of The Heart" by Bonnie Tyler hits #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 for four weeks. Written and produced by Jim Steinman (Meat Loaf, Air Supply), it will be the biggest hit for the Welsh-born singer. The song is originally written for Meat Loaf, but will be passed on to Tyler when there is a falling out between Steinman and Meat Loaf's label Epic Records over the amount of money he wants to produce the singers' album. "Total Eclipse Of The Heart" features musicians Max Weinberg and Roy Bittan from the E Street Band, guitarist Rick Derringer and singer Rory Dodd on the track. The songs' epic music video is also conceived by Steinman and is directed by Russell Mulcahy (Duran Duran, the film Highlander). The first single from Faster Than The Speed Of Night, it will be issued in the UK first on February 11, 1983, hitting #1 on March 12th (for two weeks). Released in the US on May 31, 1983, it will enter the Hot 100 at #75 on July 16th, topping the chart eleven weeks later. "Total Eclipse Of The Heart" is certified Gold in the US by the RIAA. The song will become a worldwide hit again, when British pop singer Nicki French peaks at #2 on the Hot 100 in June of 1995 with her uptempo dance version.

On this day in music history: October 1, 1984I Feel For You, the fifth album by Chaka Khan is released. Produced by Arif Mardin and David Foster, it is recorded at Atlantic Studios, Greene Street Recording Studios, Daily Planet Studios, Chelsea Sound Studios, Clinton Recording Studios, and First Choice Studios in New York City; Bill Schnee Studio, Lion Share Recording Studios, Lighthouse Recorders,  Music Grinders Studios, Soundworks Digital, Bossa Nova Hotel Studios in Los Angeles; A&M Studios and Capitol Studios in Hollywood from Early - Mid 1984.  Following the modest sales of her self-titled 1982 album, Warner Bros Records will pressure the singer to come up with a major hit record for the follow up. Working closely with her longtime producer Arif Mardin, she will do just that. Khan's cover of Prince's "I Feel For You" (#1 R&B, #3 Pop) will become the biggest hit of her solo career, and earns her a Grammy Award for Best R&B Vocal Performance, Female. The album will also spin off two further singles "Through The Fire" (#15 R&B, #60 Pop, #16 AC) and "This Is My Night (#11 R&B, #60 Pop). I Feel For You will peak at #2 on the Billboard R&B album chart and #16 on the Top 200, and is certified Platinum in the US by the RIAA.

On this day in music history: October 1, 1984The Unforgettable Fire, the fourth album by U2 is released. Produced by Daniel Lanois and Brian Eno, it is recorded at Slane Castle in County Meath, Ireland and Windmill Lane Studios in Dublin, Ireland from May 7 - August 5, 1984. The band's first collaboration with producers Brian Eno and Daniel Lanois, it will mark the beginning of a dramatic shift in U2's sound, showing a greater willingness to experiment with different sonic textures than before. Initially, Island Records boss Chris Blackwell will try to talk them out of working with Eno, feeling that he will divert them into "avant-garde nonsense," but the band will eventually prevail in their choice of producers. The albums' title is inspired by art exhibit about the atomic bombing of Hiroshima that band sees while touring Japan. It will spin off four singles including "Pride (In The Name Of Love)" (#33 US Pop #2 Mainstream Rock), a tribute to Civil Rights leader Martin Luther King, Jr.The Unforgettable Fire will peak at #12 on the Billboard Top 200, and to date has been certified 3x Platinum in the US by the RIAA.

On this day in music history: October 1, 1984Too Tough To Die, the eighth album by the Ramones is released. Produced by Tommy Ramone and Ed Stasium, it is recorded at Daily Planet Studios in New York City from Early - Mid 1984. The first album to feature new drummer Richie Ramone, it marks a return to the band's original high energy punk rock sound. Bassist Dee Dee Ramone will write or co-write nine of the albums thirteen songs. The album's cover photo is an homage to the Stanley Kubrick film A Clockwork Orange, with the band members striking a pose similar to the one by the droogs in the classic film. Too Tough To Die will peak at #171 on the Billboard Top 200.

On this day in music history: October 1, 1984Red Sails In The Sunset, the fifth album by Midnight Oil is released. Produced by Nick Launay and Midnight Oil, it is recorded at Victor Aoyama Studio in Tokyo from June - August 1984. The Australian rock band's second release with producer Launay (INXS, Gang Of Four, Killing Joke), it will be their most ambitious production to date. The albums' striking cover artwork by Japanese artist Tsunehisa Kimura features a painting of Sydney Harbour after a nuclear bomb strike. The single "Best Of Both Worlds" will receive significant airplay on MTV, entering the US album chart, expanding their fanbase, and setting the stage for their eventual commercial success outside their native continent. Red Sails In The Sunset will hit #1 on the Australian album chart and peak at #177 on the Billboard Top 200.

On this day in music history: October 1, 1991Diamonds And Pearls, the 13th album by Prince is released. Produced by Prince, it is recorded at Paisley Park Studios in Chanhassen, MN, Olympic Studios in London, Warner Pioneer Studios in Tokyo, and Larrabee Sound Studios in Los Angeles from Early 1989 - Mid 1991. It is the first album to feature his new band The New Power Generation, which includes singer and keyboardist Rosie Gaines, drummer Michael Bland, and keyboardist Tommy Barbarella. The track "Live 4 Love" is the first recorded for the album circa 1989, with the bulk of the songs being written and recorded in 1990 - 91. The album will spin off six singles including "Gett Off" (#6 R&B, #21 Pop), "Insatiable" (#3 R&B), and the chart topping "Cream." Initial copies of the album will feature a holographic image of Prince with dancers Lori Werner and Robia LaMorte (aka "Diamond" and "Pearl"). Diamonds And Pearls will spend one week at #1 on the Billboard R&B album chart on December 7th, peaking at #3 on the Top 200 on November 9, and is certified 2x Platinum in the US by the RIAA.

Relevant Tags

Elvis Presley (29), Blue Hawaii (1), Star Wars (13), Meco (1), John Williams (3), Barry White (3), Bonnie Tyler (5), Chaka Khan (10), U2 (13), Ramones (10), Midnight Oil (3), Prince (60)