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On this day in music history: November 4, 1970 - The Man Who Sold The World, the third album by David Bowie is released. Produced by Tony Visconti, it is recorded at Trident Studios and Advision Studios in London from April 18 - May 22, 1970. Following his breakthrough success in the UK with the single and album Space Oddity in the Fall of 1969, David Bowie will return to the studio in the spring of 1970 to record the follow up. The album features musicians that form the nucleus of the Spiders From Mars Band, which include guitarist Mick Ronson and drummer Mick Woodmansey, and also marks the birth of the glam rock movement. The title track will become one of Bowie's best known and loved songs. It will be influential on numerous musicians including The Cure, Siouxsie And The Banshees, Gary Numan, Nine Inch Nails, and Kurt Cobain of Nirvana.Cobain will record a cover version on their MTV Unplugged in New York album in 1993. The Man Who Sold The Earth's original cover photo featuring Bowie wearing a dress will not be issued in the US, and is replaced with a cartoon drawing. The album will peak at #26 on the UK album chart and #105 on the Billboard Top 200.
On this day in music history: November 4, 1963 - The Beatles will perform at the Royal Variety Show at the Prince Of Wales Theater in London. Following their landmark television appearance on Sunday Night At London Palladium and a highly successful tour of Sweden during the month of October, The Beatles will be invited to perform at one of the most prestigious events in their native country, the annual Royal Command Performance. The band will play for an audience which includes several member of the royal family including the Queen Mother. They will perform the songs "From Me To You," "Till There Was You," and "Twist And Shout." During the last number, John Lennon will ask the audience to "clap your hands," and while looking up at the box seats where the royal family are sitting, he will jokingly ask them to "rattle their jewelry." The performance will be yet another triumph for The Beatles in what is a year of remarkable achievements for the iconic rock band.
On this day in music history: November 4, 1972 - "I Can See Clearly Now" by Johnny Nash hits #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 for four weeks, also spending four weeks at #1 on the Billboard Easy Listening chart. Written and produced by Johnny Nash, it is the biggest hit for the Houston, Texas-based singer. Following his success with the top five hit "Hold Me Tight," Nash will move to London in 1971 where he will sign with CBS Records. While in London, Nash will meet a young Jamaican singer/songwriter named Bob Marley. Nash will record Marley's songs "Stir It Up" and "Guava Jelly," earning Marley the income to start his own record label Tuff Gong Records in Jamaica. Nash will record "I Can See Clearly Now" in Jamaica with members of Bob Marley's band The Wailers in 1972. Entering the Hot 100 at #84 on September 9, 1972, it will climb to the top of the chart eight weeks later. "I Can See Clearly Now" will be covered numerous times, most notably by reggae star Jimmy Cliff who records a version of it for the 1993 film Cool Runnings. His version will peak at #18 on the Hot 100. "I Can See Clearly Now" is certified Gold in the US by the RIAA.
On this day in music history: November 4, 1977 - Foot Loose And Fancy Free, the eighth album by Rod Stewart, is released. Produced by Tom Dowd, it is recorded at Manta Sound Studios in Toronto, Ontario, Canada; and Wally Heider Studios and Cherokee Studios in Hollywood from late 1976 - mid 1977. Issued as the follow up to the multi-platinum selling A Night On The Town, Foot Loose will prove to be equally successful. His third album to be helmed by veteran engineer and producer Tom Dowd, it is the first to feature musicians such as former Vanilla Fudge drummer Carmine Appice, bassist Phil Chen, and guitarists Jim Cregan and Gary Grangier, all of whom will become mainstays of Stewart's studio and touring band for the next several years. It will spin off three hit singles including "You're In My Heart (The Final Acclaim)" (#4 Pop) and "Hot Legs" (#28 Pop). Foot Loose And Fancy Free will peak at #2 on the Billboard Top 200 and is certified 7x Platinum in the US by the RIAA.
On this day in music history: November 4, 1978 - "Take Me To The River" by Talking Heads is released. Written by Al Green and Mabon "Teenie" Hodges, it is the first US top 40 single for the New York-based band. Issued as the first single from their second album More Songs About Buildings And Food, the song was co-written and originally recorded by Al Green on his album Al Green Explores Your Mind in 1974. Green's version was not released as a single at the time and another version by his labelmate Syl Johnson is released in 1975, hitting #7 on the R&B singles chart and #48 on the Hot 100. David Bryne will hear Al Green's original version and be intrigued by the songs' mixture of gospel flavored spirituality and implied sexuality. Talking Heads' version, produced by the band and Brian Eno, is recorded in mid-1978. Their version will peak at #26 on the Billboard Hot 100 on February 10, 1979, becoming their first major hit and a staple of their live performances.
On this day in music history: November 4, 1984 - Prince & The Revolution kick off the Purple Rain Tour at the Joe Louis Arena in Detroit, playing the first of seven sold-out nights at the venue. Supported on the tour by opening acts Sheila E. and Apollonia 6, the tour is a massive success and will play 33 cities, performing a total of 87 shows to a combined audience of over 1.7 million people. Though the setlist for the show will remain largely consistent throughout the tour, Prince will also debut new songs during the shows such as "Raspberry Beret" and "America" (from the forthcoming Around The World In A Day), and "4 The Tears In Your Eyes" (released on the We Are The World benefit album in April 1985). The March 30, 1985 show at the Carrier Dome in Syracuse, NY will be videotaped and released on home video as Prince & The Revolution Live! (nominated for a Grammy for Best Longform Video) later in the year. The tour will conclude on April 7, 1985 at the Orange Bowl (redubbed "The Purple Bowl" for that night's performance) in Miami.
On this day in music history: November 4, 1986 - Get Close, the fourth album by The Pretenders is released. Produced by Bob Clearmountain, Steve Lillywhite, and Jimmy Iovine, it is recorded at AIR Studios in London; The Power Station and Right Track Recording Studios in New York City; Bearsville Studios in Bearsville, NY; and Polar Studios in Stockholm, Sweden. The album introduces new members Blair Cunningham (drums) and T.M. Stevens (bass), but the album will be also augmented with other musicians including Bernie Worrell, Carlos Alomar, Mel Gaynor, Simon Phillips, Steve Jordan, and Bruce Thomas on various tracks. It will spin off three singles including "Don't Get Me Wrong" (#10 Pop). This line up of the band will only last for this album as Cunningham and Stevens will clash with Chrissie Hynde over musical differences and depart following the tour in support of the album. Get Close will peak at #25 on the Billboard Top 200.
On this day in music history: November 4, 1987 - The Lion And The Cobra, the debut album by Sinead O'Connor, is released. Produced by O'Connor and Kevin Moloney, it is recorded at Oasis Studio in London from late 1986 - mid 1987. The first album by the then 20 year-old Irish singer/songwriter features musical support from Adam & The Ants guitarist Marco Pirroni and singer Enya. It will spin off three singles including "Mandinka" (video will receive heavy airplay on MTV)and "I Want Your (Hands On Me)" (duet with MC Lyte). The latter will appear in the film Nightmare On Elm Street 4: The Dream Master. O'Connor will receive a Grammy Nomination for "Mandinka." The album's cover photo (taken by Kate Garner of the band Haysi Fantayzee) will feature different photos of the singer. The original European release uses a shot of O'Connor with her arms crossed in mid-scream. The US cover uses similar shot with her in a more subdued and pensive pose. The Lion And The Cobra will peak at #36 on the Billboard Top 200 and is certified Gold in the US by the RIAA.