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On this day in music history: November 18, 1972 - "If You Don't Know Me By Now" by Harold Melvin & The Blue Notes hits #1 on the Billboard R&B singles chart for two weeks, also peaking at #3 on the Hot 100 on December 9, 1972. Written and produced by Kenny Gamble and Leon Huff, it is the first major hit for the Philadelphia vocal quintet. Lead singer Teddy Pendergrass will initially join The Blue Notes as their drummer, but will move front and center when Harold Melvin discovers that he can sing. Harold Melvin & The Blue Notes will be among the first acts signed to Gamble & Huff's Philadelphia International Records in 1971. "If You Don't Know Me By Now" is originally written for the Chicago-based R&B group The Dells, but will not recording it when they can't reach a deal with their record label. Instead, it is given to The Blue Notes and is released as their second single, becoming an immediate smash on both pop and R&B radio. "If You Don't Know Me By Now" is certified Gold in the US by the RIAA.
On this day in music history: November 18, 1974 - The Lamb Lies Down On Broadway, the sixth album by Genesis is released. Produced by Genesis and John Burns, it is recorded at Island Mobile Studios in Wales, UK from August - October 1974. The 23-track double LP is a concept album centering around the character Rael and his surreal odyssey while searching for his brother John. The majority of the songs are written by the band with the exception of Peter Gabriel who is largely absent from the writing and rehearsal sessions due to his wife experiencing major complications while having their first child. When Gabriel returns, he'll insist on writing and in some cases re-writing lyrics to certain songs, which will create friction between band members during the recording sessions. It will become their most successful release to date in the US and is regarded as one of the best progressive rock albums of all time. It will also be the final album to feature original lead vocalist Peter Gabriel, who will leave the band following the subsequent tour in support of the record. The Lamb Lies Down On Broadway will peak at #10 on the UK album chart, peaking at #41 on the Billboard Top 200, and is certified Gold in the US by the RIAA. Check out the 7" single!
On this day in music history: November 18, 1977 - French Kiss, the solo debut by Bob Welch is released. Produced by John Carter, it is recorded at Sunset Sound Recorders in Hollywood, and Cherokee Studios, Village Recorders, and Producers Workshop in Los Angeles from Spring - Fall 1977. The first solo release for the former Fleetwood Mac guitarist is originally intended to be the third album by Welch's band Paris, but will split before recording begins. The album will be the breakthrough release for Welch, and features guest appearances from his former bandmates Mick Fleetwood, Christine McVie, and Lindsey Buckingham. It will spin off two hit singles including "Ebony Eyes" (#14 Pop) and "Sentimental Lady" (#8 Pop), the latter of which was originally recorded by Fleetwood Mac in 1972. Original vinyl LP pressings will feature custom label artwork using the same photo seen on the album cover of Welch and a woman seductively licking the side of his face. French Kiss will peak at #12 on the Billboard Top 200, and is certified Platinum in the US by the RIAA.
On this day in music history: November 18, 1981 - I Love Rock 'N' Roll, the second album by Joan Jett & The Blackhearts is released. Produced by Kenny Laguna and Ritchie Cordell, it is recorded at Kingdom Sound Studios in Syosset, NY from early - mid 1981. Issued as the follow-up to their debut Bad Reputation, it is also released on (former Casablanca Records founder) Neil Bogart's Boardwalk Records. The title track, originally recorded by The Arrows in 1975, will be the band's biggest hit, spending seven weeks at #1 on the Hot 100 in March-May of 1982. Initial pressings of the LP contain a cover of the holiday classic "Little Drummer Boy" that will be replaced by the cut "Oh Woe Is Me" on later pressings. It will also spin off a second hit single with their cover of Tommy James & The Shondells classic "Crimson And Clover" (#7 Pop). In 1998, the album is remastered on CD with four bonus tracks included. It will also be reissued on vinyl in 2009, with a limited edition pressing on 180g clear vinyl released for Record Store Day in 2011. I Love Rock 'N' Roll will spend three weeks at #2 on the Billboard Top 200, and is certified Platinum in the US by the RIAA.
On this day in music history: November 18, 1985 - Rock A Little, the third solo album by Stevie Nicks is released. Produced by Rick Nowels, Stevie Nicks, Jimmy Iovine, and Keith Olsen, it is recorded at Goodnight Studios in Dallas; Westlake Audio, Sunset Sound, Studio 55, United/Western Recorders, and Image Recorders in Hollywood; The Record Plant, Village Recorders, The Music Grinder, Art Department Sound in Los Angeles; Record One in Sherman Oaks; and Super Bear Studios in Nice, France from Summer 1984 - Fall 1985. Nicks will begin recording her third solo album in 1984 with longtime producer Iovine (with whom she is also romantically involved at the time), but will end up scrapping most of what is recorded when they break up during the sessions. The singer's substance abuse problems will also reach a crisis point during this time, further delaying completion of the project. It will spin off three singles including "Talk To Me" (#4 Pop) and "I Can't Wait" (#16 Pop). "Rock A Little" will peak at #12 on the Billboard Top 200, and is certified Platinum in the US by the RIAA.
On this day in music history: November 18, 1985 - Radio, the debut album by LL Cool J is released. Produced by Rick Rubin and Jazzy Jay, it is recorded at Chung King House Of Metal in New York City from late 1984 - mid 1985. The second artist signed to the upstart indie rap label Def Jam Records in 1984, LL Cool J (born James Todd Smith) will release the single "I Need A Beat" the same year. Selling over 100,000 copies (as 12"), will be instrumental in attracting the attention of major label CBS Records which will sign the label to a long-term worldwide distribution agreement in 1985. Aided by Def Jam co-founder Rick Rubin's stripped-down minimalist production, it will quickly establish the then 17-year-old Queens, NY rapper as a force to be reckoned with. It will spin off four singles including "I Can't Live Without My Radio" and "Rock The Bells." Regarded as a seminal release in the history of rap music and Hip Hop culture, it is Def Jam's first album to be certified Gold just five months after its release. Radio will peak at #6 on the Billboard R&B album chart and #46 on the Top 200, and is certified Platinum in the US by the RIAA
On this day in music history: November 18, 1986 - Notorious, the fourth studio album by Duran Duran is released. Produced by Nile Rodgers and Duran Duran, it is recorded at Studio Davout in Paris, France; Abbey Road Studios, Maison Rouge Studios, AIR Studios - Lyndhurst Hall, and Westside Studios in London; and Skyline Studios in New York City from late 1985 - mid 1986. The first new studio album from Duran Duran in three years, the band is pared down to a three piece with the departure of original guitarist Andy Taylor (who will play on a few tracks before leaving the band) and drummer Roger Taylor. Former Missing Persons guitarist Warren Cuccurullo and former Average White Band drummer Steve Ferrone will fill in during the sessions, with Cuccurullo eventually becoming a full fledged member of the band. Featuring a more stripped-down funk and horn-based sound (courtesy of producer/guitarist Nile Rodgers of Chic), it will spin off three singles including the title track (#2 Pop) and "Skin Trade" (#39 Pop). Notorious will peak at #12 on the Billboard Top 200, and is certified Platinum in the US by the RIAA.
On this day in music history: November 18, 1989 - "Don't Take It Personal" by Jermaine Jackson hits #1 on the Billboard R&B singles chart for one week, also peaking at #64 on the Hot 100 on January 6, 1990. Written by David "Pic" Conley, David Townsend, and Derrick Culler, it is the second R&B chart-topper for the bassist and co-lead vocalist of the Jackson musical family. The song is co-written and produced by Conley and Townsend of the band Surface, The song had originally be slated for Milli Vanilli's Girl You Know It's True album, but the writers will withdraw the song after producer Frank Farian insists that they not travel to Germany to attend the recording sessions. Arista chief Clive Davis will pass the song on to Jackson instead. Issued the title track from Jermaine's 12th solo album (also titled Don't Take It Personal), it will become the singers' biggest hit since "I Think It's Love" (co-written by Stevie Wonder) in 1986.