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On this day in music history: November 25, 1968 - The Beatles (aka The White Album), the ninth album by The Beatles is released (UK release date is on November 22, 1968). Produced by George Martin, it is recorded at Abbey Road Studios and Trident Studios in London from May 30 - October 14, 1968. The album will mark the beginning of a difficult and tense period for The Beatles, with various inner conflicts within the band coming to a head during the recording sessions. The squabbling will become so intense that Ringo Starr will quit the band briefly before being persuaded to return. In spite of this, it will still be a highly creative period, yielding more than thirty new songs, most of which are written during The Beatles spiritual retreat to India with the Maharishi Mahesh Yogi earlier in the year. The album's cover art designed by Richard Hamilton will be a stark white gatefold sleeve with the band's name embossed on the front during the original press run (later copies feature the title printed in light grey ink) and individually stamped with a number running up to over 3,000,000 in the US. The album will also come packaged with a poster and four individual portraits of the band members. In the UK, it will be the final Beatles album to be issued with separate mono and stereo mixes. The US pressing will be released in stereo only. The original mono version of the album will be reissued on vinyl in the UK in 1982, and finally on CD in 2009 as part of The Beatles Mono Box Set. Initial UK LP pressings will feature a uniquely designed gatefold sleeve with the jacket openings being on the top instead of on the sides. The Beatles will spend nine weeks (non-consecutive) at #1 on the Billboard Top 200 and is certified 19x Platinum in the US by the RIAA.
On this day in music history: November 25, 1970 - Christmas And The Beads Of Sweat, the fourth album by Laura Nyro is released. Produced by Felix Cavaliere and Arif Mardin, it is recorded at Columbia Recording Studios in New York City in May 1970. Following her highly acclaimed third release, New York Tendaberry, singer, songwriter, and musician Laura Nyro will return to the studio in the Spring of 1970 to work on her next release with Rascals keyboardist and vocalist Felix Cavaliere and arranger and producer Arif Mardin (Aretha Franklin, Bette Midler, Chaka Khan) handling the production duties. It is the final part of the musical trilogy begun with Nyro's second and third albums Eli And The Thirteenth Confession and New York Tendaberry. In spite of its title, it will not be a traditional holiday album and contains no covers of actual Christmas songs. The material will however capture the joyful spirit present during that time of year. It also features guest appearances by Duane Allman (on the title track) and Alice Coltrane. The album will yield Nyro's only chart single, a cover of The Drifters hit "Up On The Roof" (#92 Pop). Christmas And The Beads Of Sweat will peak at #51 on the Billboard Top 200.
On this day in music history: November 25, 1984 - The single "Do They Know It's Christmas?" by Band Aid is recorded. Written by Bob Geldof and Midge Ure, the one off benefit single for famine relief in Africa will be huge worldwide hit. Boomtown Rats leader Geldof will see a BBC news report on the plight of famine stricken people in the African nation of Ethiopia. Deeply moved by what he has seen, he will enlist the help of Midge Ure of Ultravox (along with over 30 British and US pop stars including Boy George, George Michael, Sting, Bono, Duran Duran, Bananarama, members of Kool & The Gang and Jody Watley) to help produce a record with all of the earnings being donated to famine relief. Recorded at producer Trevor Horn's SARM West Studios in Notting Hill, London, the track will be recorded in one 24-hour-long marathon recording session. The single will be released in the UK on November 29, 1984 (US release date is on December 3, 1984), with Mercury Records in the UK and Columbia Records in the US donating pressing and distribution of the single for free. Famed pop artist Peter Blake (Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band) will design the single's iconic sleeve artwork. It will quickly set a record as the best selling single in history in UK record history, selling over 3.7 million copies in only two weeks. By 1989, its worldwide sales will reach over 11.8 million copies sold, holding the sales record until 1997 when it is surpassed by Elton John's "Candle In The Wind 1997." "Christmas" will spend five weeks at #1 on the UK singles chart and #13 on the Billboard Top 200, earning millions for Ethiopian famine relief. "Do They Know It's Christmas?" is certified Gold in the US by the RIAA.
On this day in music history: November 25, 1989 - "Blame It On The Rain" by Milli Vanilli hits #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 for two weeks. Written by Diane Warren, it is the third number one single for the pop music duo of Rob Pilatus and Fabrice Morvan (actual lead vocals performed by John Davis and Brad Howell). Released as the fourth single released from Girl You Know It's True, Warren has originally written it for and submitted to The Jets for possible inclusion on their second album Magic. When the group's management passes on the song, she will play it for Arista Records head Clive Davis. He will suggest that it be recorded by Milli Vanilli. Though the act is unknown to the songwriter, she will trust Davis's judgment and submit the song. Entering the Hot 100 at #65 on October 7, 1989, it will climb to the top of the chart seven weeks later. "Blame It On The Rain" will unseat Bad English's "When I See You Smile" from the top spot, which was also written by Warren. It will be the seventh time in the rock era that a songwriter has had back to back #1 singles on the US charts. "Blame It On The Rain" is certified Platinum in the US by the RIAA.
On this day in music history: November 25, 1995 - "Exhale (Shoop Shoop)" by Whitney Houston hits #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 for one week, also spending eight weeks at #1 on the R&B singles chart on the same date. Written and produced by Kenny "Babyface" Edmonds, it is the eleventh and final chart-topping pop single and the seventh R&B chart topper for the New Jersey born superstar vocalist. Issued as the lead single from the soundtrack and film to Waiting To Exhale, which stars Houston with Angela Bassett, Lela Rochon, and Loretta Devine. First time director, actor Forest Whitaker will meet Babyface backstage after a show (while on tour with Boyz II Men) at the Arrowhead Pond in Anaheim, CA. Whitaker will ask the singer, songwriter, and producer if he will score and write songs for his film adaptation of Terry McMillian's book Waiting To Exhale. Edmonds will agree, helping to assemble a group of top notch female R&B vocalists that includes Chaka Khan, Toni Braxton, Mary J. Blige, Chante Moore, Brandy, and TLC for the soundtrack album. Face will write the film's title song especially for Whitney to sing along with "Count On Me" (a duet with gospel singer CeCe Winans). At first, Houston is not fond of "Exhale" particularly the song's chorus, but she will eventually warm up to it. Issued as the first single from the soundtrack album on November 7, 1995, "Exhale" will be an instant smash, debuting at #1 on both the pop and R&B singles charts. The single will also win Babyface a Grammy Award for Best R&B Song in 1997. "Exhale (Shoop Shoop)" is certified Platinum in the US by the RIAA.