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Born on this day: June 17, 1943 - Singer, songwriter, producer and musician Barry Manilow (born Barry Alan Pincus in Brooklyn, NY). Happy 70th Birthday, Barry!
On this day in music history: June 17, 1978 - "Shadow Dancing" by Andy Gibb hits #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 for seven weeks. Written by Barry, Robin, Maurice, and Andy Gibb, it is the third consecutive chart topper for the singer and songwriter from The Isle of Man, UK. While his debut single "I Just Want To Be Your Everything" and the accompanying album Flowing Rivers are steadily climbing the charts in the US and abroad, singer Andy Gibb, with the assistance of his older brothers The Bee Gees will begin work on his second album. All four brothers will collaborate on the Shadow Dancing album while The Bee Gees are filming Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band in L.A. in mid-1977. Recording will begin at Wally Heider Studios in Los Angeles with overdubs and final mixing completed at Criteria Studios in Miami. Released as a single in April of 1978, it will quickly become a smash. Entering the Hot 100 at #69 on April 15, 1978, it will rise to the top of the chart nine weeks later. Gibb, at only twenty years old, will become the first solo artist in history to have his first three singles reach #1 in the US, achieving this feat in just 11 months. "Shadow Dancing" is certified Platinum in the US by the RIAA, selling over 2.5 million copies in the US alone, and will be ranked at the top single of 1978 by Billboard Magazine.
On this day in music history: June 17, 1978 - While on a European Tour in support of their latest album Earth, Jefferson Starship will play the second of two concerts at The Freilichtbahne Loreley (Loreley Open-Air Theatre) in St. Goarhausen, West Germany. One the first night (June 16th), the band will fail to appear, causing angry fans to ransack the stage. The second night will be even more of a disaster, when lead singer Grace Slick shows up extremely drunk and belligerent. Slurring her words and singing off key throughout, she'll begin to berate the audience calling them "Nazis" and taunting them with the phrase "who won the war?" The incident will touch off a riot, with the enraged audience causing over a million dollars in damage to the venue (which ironically had been originally constructed just prior to World War II by The Third Reich for cultural events) and the band's equipment. Highly embarrassed by her actions, Slick will voluntarily quit the band, not returning until early 1981 when Jefferson Starship records their album Modern Times.
On this day in music history: June 17, 1985 - Crush, the sixth studio album by Orchestral Manoeuvres In The Dark is released. Produced by Stephen Hague and Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark, it is recorded at Amazon Studios in Liverpool, UK from Late 1984 - Spring 1985. It will mark the beginning of a new musical direction for the Liverpudlian synth-pop band, moving away from the experimental electronic dance music on previous albums, towards a more accessible mainstream pop sound. It is the bands' first album to be co-produced by Stephen Hague (Pet Shop Boys, New Order, Erasure), and is aimed primarily at the US record market. It will grow their previously underground fanbase in the US giving them their first taste of mainstream success. The album will spin off two singles including "Secret" (#63 Pop) and their first US top 40 hit "So In Love" (#26 Pop). Crush will peak at #13 on the UK album chart and #38 on the Billboard Top 200.
On this day in music history: June 17, 1991 - For Unlawful Carnal Knowledge, the ninth studio album by Van Halen is released. Produced by Andy Johns, Ted Templeman, and Van Halen, it is recorded at 5150 Studios in Hollywood from March 1990 - April 1991. The albums' title is inspired when Sammy Hagar, wanting to stir things up and make a statement against the tide of censorship sweeping the media at the time, suggests that the band title their latest album "F***." Hagar's friend, boxer Ray "Boom Boom" Mancini will tell him that the expletive "f***" is actually an acronym for the phrase "for unlawful carnal knowledge." The album will also mark the return of the bands' original producer Ted Templeman, whom the band had been estranged from for many years. In spite of mostly mixed reviews from critics upon its release, it will be warmly received by the band's loyal fans. It will spin off four singles including "Poundcake" (#1 Album Rock) and "Right Now" (#2 Album Rock, #55 Pop). The latter will be supported by a music video (directed by Mark Fenske) whose unique concept and graphic style will make it an instant staple on MTV, winning three Video Music Awards including Video Of The Year in 1992. The album will also win Van Halen their first (and so far only) Grammy Award for Best Hard Performance in 1992. For Unlawful Carnal Knowledge will enter the Billboard Top 200 at #1, spending three weeks at the top and is certified 3x Platinum in the US by the RIAA.