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On this day in music history: October 7, 1963 - Little Deuce Coupe, the fourth album by The Beach Boys, is released. Produced by Brian Wilson and Murry Wilson, it is recorded at Western Recorders in Hollywood in April 1962; January 31, 1963; June 12, 1963; and July 16, 1963. Following the release of the Capitol Records compilation album Shut Down, Coupe is produced as a companion piece, featuring more songs about hot rods and Southern California car culture. It is the first album by the band to be produced solely by Brian Wilson (except for two tracks) and marks the beginning of Wilson exerting more control over the production of their music. Regarded as one of the best of The Beach Boys' early albums, it is also the last to feature rhythm guitarist David Marks. Al Jardine will return to the band permanently (when he drops out of college) following Marks' departure after an argument with manager Murry Wilson. It will spin off several classics including "409" (#76 Pop), "Be True To Your School" (re-recorded for single release and mixed in mono) (#6 Pop), "Shut Down" (#23 Pop), and the title track (#15 Pop). Little Deuce Coupe will peak at #4 on the Billboard Top 200 and is certified Platinum in the US by the RIAA.
On this day in music history: October 7, 1969 - "I Want You Back" by The Jackson 5 is released. Written and produced by "The Corporation" (aka Deke Richards, Freddie Perren, Fonce Mizell, and Berry Gordy, Jr.), it is the Gary, Indiana-based family groups' debut single for Motown Records. Originally titled "I Wanna Be Free" when it is first written, the song is originally intended for Gladys Knight & The Pips. After Motown puts the group under contract, label founder Berry Gordy, Jr. will hear the demo recording and then help the rest of the writing team come up with a new concept for the song, re-writing the lyrics and tailoring it for the group. Recorded in August and September of 1969, the basic track and vocals are cut at The Sound Factory in Hollywood and feature musicians Freddie Perren and Joe Sample (keyboards), Wilton Felder (bass), Sandra Crouch (tambourine), Gene Pello (drums), and Louis Shelton, David T. Walker, and Don Peake on guitars. Led by producer Deke Richards, the group will spend weeks, recording and re-recording their vocals until Richards feels they have achieved perfection. The single is backed by the J5's cover of the Smokey Robinson & The Miracles classic "Who's Lovin' You." Following several high profile television appearances to promote the single, including a now legendary performance on The Ed Sullivan Show in December, the record will catapult The Jackson 5 into national and international stardom. "I Want You Back" will spend four weeks at #1 on the Billboard R&B singles chart beginning on January 10, 1970 and one week on the Hot 100 on January 31st, shooting past the two million mark in sales in the US and becoming certified Platinum by the RIAA. In time, the record will be widely regarded as one of the greatest pop singles of all time. "I Want You Back" is inducted into the Grammy Hall Of Fame in 1999.
On this day in music history: October 7, 1971 - "Got To Be There" by Michael Jackson is released. Written by Elliot Willensky, it is issued as the debut solo single for the then thirteen-year-old Motown superstar. The track and vocals are recorded in June and July of 1971 and is produced by J5 producer Hal Davis ("I'll Be There", "Never Can Say Goodbye"). Though it is released as a solo single, it does also feature Michael's brothers Jackie, Tito, Jermaine, and Marlon on background vocals (with additional studio background singers). "Got To Be There" will peak at #4 on both the Billboard Hot 100 and R&B singles charts on December 11, 1971, becoming Michael Jackson's first million selling single as a solo artist. The song will also be featured as the title track of his debut solo album Got To Be There in January of 1972.
On this day in music history: October 7, 1978 - Dog & Butterfly, the fourth album by Heart is released. Produced by Mike Flicker, Heart, and Michael Fisher, it is recorded at Sea-West Studios in Seattle, Capitol Studios in Hollywood, and The Centreplex Coliseum in Macon, GA from early - mid 1978. It is the Seattle-based rock band's first album following their long legal battle with their former label Mushroom Records over their aborted second album Magazine and is the official follow up to their Portrait/Epic Records debut Little Queen. The first side (or "Dog" side) of the album features harder rocking songs, while the second side (or "Butterfly" side) feature mostly gentle acoustic ballads. The album will also mark the last album to feature guitarist Roger Fisher (Nancy Wilson's boyfriend at the time) who is voted out of the band after the couple split due to Fisher's infidelity and drug problems. Roger's brother and band manager Mike Fisher (Ann's boyfriend and the subject of the classic song "Magic Man") will also depart from Heart's inner circle shortly after his relationship with Ann Wilson ends. Dog & Butterfly will peak at #17 on the Billboard Top 200, and is certified 2x Platinum in the US by the RIAA.
On this day in music history: October 7, 1978 - Dire Straits, the debut album by Dire Straits is released. Produced by Muff Winwood, it is recorded at Basing Street Studios in London from February 13 - March 5, 1978. Formed in 1977 by brothers Mark and David Knopfler, John Illsley, and Pick Withers, the band will play clubs around in and around London before recording a five-song demo tape. The band will take their tape to DJ Charlie Gillett, the host of a BBC radio show, to seek his advice on the material. Gillett likes the demo so much that he begins playing their early recording of "Sultans Of Swing" on the air. This will attract the attention of Phonogram subsidiary Vertigo Records, who will sign Dire Straits two months after the demo is played on the radio. Paired with former Spencer Davis Group bassist turned label A&R man Muff Winwood (older brother of musician Steve Winwood), The band will enter the recording studio to work on their first album. Recorded in just three weeks of studio time, the album will initially attract little attention until Dire Straits begins touring as the opening act for Talking Heads, which will lead to Warner Bros Records picking it up for US release. "Sultans Of Swing" is issued as a single and will break on US radio stations, climbing to #4 on the Hot 100 in April 1979. Dire Straits will peak at #2 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 7, 1986 - Reign In Blood, the third album by Slayer is released. Produced by Rick Rubin, it is recorded at Eldorado Studios in Hollywood from early - mid 1986. Following the release of the thrash metal band's first two albums (and one live album) on independent label Metal Blade Records, they will make the jump to a major label when Def Jam Records co-founder Rick Rubin signs on to produce them. The album will actually be handled by Geffen Records when Columbia Records (Def Jam's distributor at the time) refuses to release it because of its graphic cover artwork and for the violent imagery in many of the songs lyrics. Upon its release, it will be praised by fans and critics for its virtuoso musicianship and the heaviness of the material. It will greatly widen the band's fan base and introduce them to the mainstream metal audience. In time, it will be regarded as one of the best thrash metal albums of all time. The song "Angel of Death" (about infamous Nazi SS "physician" Josef Mengele) will be sampled by Public Enemy as the basis of their track "She Watch Channel Zero" in 1988. Reign In Blood will peak at #94 on the Billboard Top 200 and is certified 2x Platinum in the US by the RIAA.
On this day in music history: October 7, 1989 - "Back To Life (However Do You Want Me)" by Soul II Soul hits #1 on the Billboard R&B singles chart for one week, also peaking at #4 the Hot 100 on December 16th. Written by Beresford Romeo (aka Jazzie B), Nellee Hooper, Simon Law, and Caron Wheeler, it is the biggest hit for the British-based R&B band/sound system led by DJ and musician Jazzie B. The song in its original form (on the initial pressings of the UK album Club Classics V.1 retitled Keep On Movin' in the US) featured acapella vocals by singer Caron Wheeler over a breakbeat. The track will be revamped into a complete song with full instrumentation and lyrics before it is released as a single. Issued as the second single from the album, it will first become a smash in their native country spending four weeks at #1 on the UK singles chart. First breaking out in US dance clubs, it quickly becomes a hit on R&B stations before crossing over to the pop charts. "Back To Life (However Do You Want Me)" will win Soul II Soul one of two Grammy Awards the group receive in 1990 for Best R&B Performance By Duo Or Group With Vocals. "Back To Life (However Do You Want Me)" is certified Platinum in the US by the RIAA.