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On this day in music history: June 24, 1967 - Headquarters, the third studio album by The Monkees hits #1 on the Billboard Top 200 for one week. Produced by Chip Douglas (aka Douglas Farthing Hatlelid), it is recorded at RCA Music Center of the World Studios, Studio C from February 23 - March 22, 1967. By early 1967, The Monkees are at loggerheads with Screen Gems, the company responsible for producing their hit television series. Though highly successful, the band is unhappy (especially Mike Nesmith and Peter Tork who are both accomplished musicians) at having virtually no creative input or being allowed to play on their records. They will lobby for and win the right to play on their own records, which leads to the ouster of music supervisor Don Kirshner. The Monkees will lock themselves in the recording studio for four weeks while working on their third album. Writing a lion's share of the material included on the LP, many of the songs will be worked out while jamming together live in the studio. No singles will be released in the US, but it will spin off a major hit single in the UK with the Micky Dolenz-penned "Randy Scouse Git" (re-titled "Alternate Title") (#2 UK). The album will be another major success for the band, quickly rising to #1, but will be bumped from the top spot by The Beatles' Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band the following week, spending an additional 11 weeks in the runner up position. In time, it will be regarded as one of The Monkees best albums. Headquarters is certified 2x Platinum in the US by the RIAA.
On this day in music history: June 24, 1968 - Time Peace: The Rascals' Greatest Hits, the fifth album by The Rascals is released. Produced by The Rascals, Arif Mardin, and Tom Dowd, it is the first greatest hits compilation from the New York-based rock/R&B quartet. It features tracks recorded between 1965 and early 1968 from their first four albums and the recent stand alone single "A Beautiful Morning" (#3 Pop, #36 R&B). Surprisingly, the band's recently released single "People Got to Be Free" (#1 Pop) will be left off of the album and not issued on an LP until their next studio album Freedom Suite in March of 1969. The original LP will be issued in a gatefold jacket featuring cover art with a comic strip styled illustration of the band that is inspired by pop artist Roy Lichtenstein. On the first run of LP's, Atlantic Records will also accidentally press the records using the gold and purple Atco style stereo labels of the period (Atlantic stereo labels are yellow-green and aqua blue). The error will be corrected on subsequent repressings. Time Peace: The Rascals' Greatest Hits will spend one week at #1 on the Billboard Top 200 and is certified Gold in the US by the RIAA.
On this day in music history: June 24, 1975 - Cut The Cake, the third studio album by the Average White Band is released. Produced by Arif Mardin, it is recorded at Atlantic Studios in New York City in early 1975. Issued as the follow up to their highly successful second album, tensions will run high in the studio for the Scottish R&B/Funk quintet. Still mourning the loss their friend and bandmate, drummer Robbie McIntosh (to an accidental drug overdose), and feeling the pressure to match the success of their breakthrough album, the surviving members will battle each other over creative differences. The album will also be the first to introduce new drummer Steve Ferrone, the only non-white member in the band, now lending greater irony to their name. It will spin off three singles including "School Boy Crush" (#22 R&B, #33 Pop), "If I Ever Lose This Heaven" (#25 R&B, #39 Pop), and the title track (#7 R&B, #10 Pop). Cut the Cake will spend one week at #1 on the Billboard R&B album chart, peaking at #4 on the Top 200, and is certified Platinum in the US by the RIAA.
On this day in music history: June 24, 1999 - Musician Eric Clapton will auction off 100 of his guitars, amplifiers, and other accessories. Clapton puts the guitars on sale to raise funds for the Crossroads Center Foundation and for the drug and alcohol rehabilitation clinic the Crossroads Centre in Antigua. Among the instruments on the auction block are numerous vintage Fender, Gibson, and Martin guitars. The centerpiece of the collection is the two tone sunburst 1956 Fender Stratocaster nicknamed Brownie. This iconic guitar being one of Clapton's personal favorites was most famously used by him on the Derek & The Dominoes album Layla in 1970. Clapton originally purchased the guitar for $400 at the music store Sound City in London in 1967 while on tour with Cream. The Strat will also be pictured with Clapton on the cover of his first solo album. The pre-sale estimate for the guitar is for between $80-100,000. The final auction price will far exceed that when it sells for a then record price of $497,500. The winning bid is placed by Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen. Brownie is now on permanent display at the Experience Music Project museum in Seattle, Washington.