Music History Monday: January 14

Posted by Jeff Harris, January 14, 2013 12:00pm | Post a Comment

To read more Behind The Grooves, go to

On this day in music history: January 14, 1977Low, the eleventh studio album by David Bowie is released. Produced by Bowie and Tony Visconti, it is recorded at the Chateau d'Herouville in Herouville, France in Late 1976. It is the first of Bowie's "Berlin Trilogy," the first of his songwriting and musical collaborations with Brian Eno, though the album is recorded in France and mixed at Hansa Studios in Berlin. Bowie will move to Berlin to get away from Los Angeles where his previous album Station To Station was recorded. Many of the songs are about personal issues Bowie is dealing with, including kicking his addiction to cocaine. It will spin off the single "Sound And Vision" (#3 UK, #69 US Pop), and will come to be regarded as one of his best and most influential works. Low will peak at #2 on the UK album chart and #11 on the Billboard Top 200.

On this day in music history: January 14, 1978 - The Sex Pistols play their final live show at the Winterland Ballroom in San Francisco. On their first and only tour of the US in support of their album Never Mind The Bollocks, Here's The Sex Pistols, relationships between the band members will deteriorate rapidly with lead singer Johnny Rotten feeling increasingly isolated from Steve Jones, Paul Cook, manager Malcolm McLaren, and disgusted by Sid Vicious's drug use and erratic behavior. The band will play The Stooges "No Fun" as the show's encore with Rotten uttering the now infamous line "ever get the feeling you've been cheated?" at the end.

On this day in music history: January 14, 1978 - "Baby Come Back" by Player hits #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 for three weeks, also peaking at #10 on the R&B singles chart on the same date and #2 on the Adult Contemporary chart. Written by Peter Beckett and John Charles Crowley, it will be the biggest hit for the LA based pop/rock band. Released as the first single from their self-titled second album, it will prove to have long lasting popularity, being covered numerous times by different artists, sampled, and featured in films, television programs, and commercials. At the time of its run on the charts, "Baby Come Back" will be the second of six singles on the RSO label (in between The Bee Gees "How Deep Is Your Love" and "Stayin' Alive") to consecutively hold down the #1 spot on the US pop chart.

On this day in music history: January 14, 1983 - The self-titled debut album by Nena is released (US release is retitled 99 Luftballons and is released on February 28, 1984). Produced by Reinhold Heil and Manne Praeker, it is recorded at Spliff-Studio in Berlin, East Germany in Late 1982. The German pop/rock bands debut release includes their worldwide smash "99 Luftballons" (#2 US Pop), which will be inspired when the bands guitar player Carlo Karges watches balloons being released at a Rolling Stones concert in West Berlin. He will collaborate on the song with the bands' keyboardist Uwe Fahrenkrog-Petersen. The songs' lyrics are a fictional narrative of children releasing balloons that are mistaken for incoming weapons by the East German army, setting off an nuclear war between the east and west. When the album is released in the US thirteen months after its international release, it will feature three of the songs re-recorded in English, including "99 Luftballons" (re-titled "99 Red Balloons"). Nena will hit #1 on the German album chart.

On this day in music history: January 14, 1984 - "Joanna" by Kool & The Gang hits #1 on the Billboard R&B singles chart for two weeks, also peaking at #2 for one week on February 11th. Written by James "J.T." Taylor and Kool & The Gang, it is the seventh chart topping single for the R&B band from Jersey City. Before the song is recorded (at The House of Music in West Orange, NJ), they will debut it in a live concert at Radio City Music Hall in New York City. The crowd's overwhelmingly positive response will lead to the song being selected as the first single release. The track is released as the first single from the bands 17th studio album In The Heart. While the song is climbing the charts, it will receive a further boost when Tonight Show host Johnny Carson frequently requests that the show band play the song going into and coming out of commercial breaks, dedicating it to his then wife, also named Joanna. "Joanna" is also a big international hit, peaking at #2 on the UK singles chart as a double A-side with the US follow up single "Tonight" (#7 R&B, #13 Pop).

Relevant Tags

Nena (2), Player (2), Sex Pistols (12), David Bowie (51), Kool & The Gang (5)