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On this day in music history: November 19, 1966 - "Knock On Wood" by Eddie Floyd hits #1 on the Billboard R&B singles chart for one week, also peaking at #28 on the Hot 100 on December 10th. Written by Eddie Floyd and Steve Cropper, It will be the biggest hit for Alabama-born soul singer. The song is actually recorded in the Summer of 1965 (with Booker T. & The MG's, Isaac Hayes on piano, and The Mar-Keys' horn section), but is held back from release by Stax Records president Jim Stewart when he believes that it is too similar to Wilson Pickett's "In The Midnight Hour." The record will actually experience resistance from radio upon its release, failing to receive any airplay initially. Stax Records' head Al Bell will hit upon the idea of Floyd performing live in an area where he has a strong fanbase. Washington DC will be city that is chosen. The ploy will work, with the single breaking on radio stations in the DC and Baltimore area. From there, the record will go national. Over the years, "Knock On Wood" will be covered by a number of artists Ike & Tina Turner, David Bowie, and Eric Clapton. Singer Amii Stewart's disco rendering of the song will become a worldwide hit, hitting #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 in April of 1979.
On this day in music history: November 19, 1966 - "You Keep Me Hangin' On" by The Supremes hits #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 for two weeks, also topping the R&B singles chart for four weeks on November 26th. Written by Brian Holland, Lamont Dozier, and Eddie Holland, it is the eighth number one pop single for the Motown vocal trio. The track is a deliberate attempt by HDH to give the group a harder edged sound. The songs' distinctive morse code like lead guitar lick will be suggested by Dozier when he hears the intro to a news report on the radio with a similar rhythmic element to it. The track is recorded at Motown Records Studio A on June 30th with instrumental backing by The Funk Brothers. The Supremes will overdub their vocals two months later on August 1st. "You Keep Me Hangin' On" will enter the Hot 100 on October 29th at #68 and rocket to the top just three weeks later. The song will preside over a unique top five in which all of the songs had either previously reached #1, or will hit the top of the chart.
On this day in music history: November 19, 1979 - Joe's Garage Acts II & III, the 29th studio album by Frank Zappa is released. Produced by Frank Zappa, it is recorded at Village Recorders, Studio B in Los Angeles from September 17 - November 19, 1979. The second of two albums released just two months apart, the 10 track double album is a rock opera centering around the character Joe, following his journey through the music business. Filled with Zappa's stinging guitar work, tempered with his trademark satirical and often scatalogical humor, the album also takes sharp aim at religion (particularly the Catholic Church and Scientology), and the censorship of music (forshadowing his opposition against the Parents Music Research Center, which was formed by the wifes of Washington senators and businessmen in the mid '80s). Garage will also feature musical backing from members of what will become the popular new wave band Missing Persons. Joe's Garage will peak at #53 on the Billboard Top 200.
On this day in music history: November 19, 1982 - Coda, the ninth and final studio album by Led Zeppelin is released. Produced by Jimmy Page, it is recorded from January 9, 1970 - November 21, 1978, and is compiled from unrreleased studio and live outtakes recorded over an eight year period. The first Zeppelin album to appear in the wake of drummer John Bonham's death two years earlier, it is released in response to the numerous bootlegs of the band's live and studio vault material that has leaked out over the years, and also to fulfill their contract with Atlantic Records. The tracks "We're Gonna Groove" and "I Can't Quit You Baby" are actually live performances from a concert at The Royal Albert Hall with the crowd noise muted out. Guitar overdubs are added "We're Gonna Groove" and "I Can't Quit You Baby" is edited down from its original length. It will spin off three airplay tracks on Mainstream Rock radio including "Darlene" and "Ozone Baby." Coda will peak at #6 on the Billboard Top 200, and is certified Platinum in the US by the RIAA.
On this day in music history: November 19, 1984 - Building The Perfect Beast, the second solo album by Don Henley, is released. Produced by Henley, Danny Kortchmar, and Greg Ladanyi, it is recorded at Record One in Sherman Oaks, Bill Schnee Studio in Universal City, and The Villa in North Hollywood from Late 1983 - Mid 1984. Following up his successful solo debut "I Can't Stand Still," the second release from the former Eagles vocalist and drummer will feature instrumental and vocal support from Lindsey Buckingham, Mike Campbell, Belinda Carlisle, Martha Davis, Patty Smyth, Benmont Tench, Charlie Sexton, Pino Palladino, David Paich, Jim Keltner, Randy Newman, and J.D. Souther. It will spin off four singles including "The Boys Of Summer" (#5 Pop) and "All She Wants To Do Is Dance" (#9 Pop). "Summer" will also win Henley a Grammy Award for Best Rock Vocal Performance, Male in 1985 and will win four MTV Video Music Awards including Video of The Year for the song's iconic music video directed by Jean-Baptiste Mondino.Building The Perfect Beast will peak at #13 on the Billboard Top 200 and certified is 3x Platinum in the US by the RIAA.
On this day in music history: November 19, 1991 - Achtung Baby, the seventh studio album by U2 is released. Produced by Daniel Lanois and Brian Eno, it is recorded at Hansa Studios in Berlin, Germany, Elsinore Studios in Dalkey, Ireland, and STS Studios and Windmill Lane Studios in Dublin, Ireland from October 1990 - September 1991. It marks the beginning of a major shift in the band's musical direction. The album will take its title from a line in the Mel Brooks comedy "The Producers," both as a tongue in cheek reference to the band's recording in Germany and to add some levity to intensity to the music contained on it. Initial sessions of the album take place at Hansa Studios in Berlin, which prove so arduous that the band nearly breaks up in frustration. The writing and recording of the track "One" (#10 Pop) will allow them to regroup and creatively refocus their efforts, leading the way to the rest of album's completion. The resulting work is a huge critical and commercial success, spinning off five singles including "Mysterious Ways" (#9 Pop) and "Even Better Than The Real Thing" (#32 Pop). The albums' cover art, designed by Steve Averill, features a series of various photos (taken by photographer Anton Corbijn) and includes a full frontal nude picture of bassist Adam Clayton on the back cover. The original limited vinyl LP release will feature this photo uncensored, while the CD pressing includes the photo with an "X" drawn over Clayton's private parts. Achtung Baby will debut at #1 on the Billboard Top 200 and has been certified 8x Platinum in the US by the RIAA.