Music History Monday: January 20

Posted by Jeff Harris, January 20, 2014 10:40am | Post a Comment

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On this day in music history: January 20, 1964Meet The Beatles!, the second US album by The Beatles is released. Produced by George Martin, it is recorded at Abbey Road Studios in London from February 11 - October 23, 1963. Just after release of "I Want To Hold Your Hand," Capitol Records will quickly leap into action, rushing out the band's second US full-length LP, just ten days after Vee Jay Records releases Introducing... The Beatles. The twelve-track album consists nine songs from the band's second UK LP With The Beatles with "You Really Got a Hold On Me," "Devil in Her Heart," "Money (That's What I Want)," "Please Mister Postman," and "Roll Over Beethoven" removed and replaced with "I Want To Hold Your Hand" (#1 Pop), "I Saw Her Standing There" (#14 Pop), and "This Boy." The versions of "I Want To Hold Your Hand" and "This Boy" featured on the stereo pressing of the album will be presented in re-channeled "Duophonic" stereo, since no true stereo mixes had been made for either song. Both had been released as a stand alone single in the UK in mono only. The stereo mix of "I Saw Her Standing There" featured on the album differs from the one included on the Vee Jay Introducing...and the UK Please Please Me album. Capitol will also use the same cover photo (taken by photographer Robert Freeman), used for the With The Beatles album cover. Original mono and stereo copies of the album will be distinguished by the graphics on the front cover. Mono pressings (T-2047) will feature the band's name printed in tan or brown ink, with the stereo copies (ST-2047) featuring the "Capitol Full Dimensional Stereo" banner on the top, with the band's name also printed in tan or brown ink, with later copies using olive green ink. In spite of being a consistent seller over the years, Meet The Beatles will be deleted by Capitol (along with their other US compiled LP's) in 1987, when the band's original UK albums are issued in their place. The album will make its CD debut in November of 2004, when it is released as part of the box set The Capitol Albums, Volume 1. To commemorate the fiftieth anniversary of The Beatles arrival in the US, it will be reissued again as of the thirteen disc CD box set The U.S. Albums on January 21, 2014Meet The Beatles will spend 11 weeks at #1 on the Billboard Top 200, and is certified 5x Platinum in the US by the RIAA.

On this day in music history: January 20, 1967Between The Buttons, the fifth studio album by The Rolling Stones is released (US release is on February 11, 1967.). Produced by Andrew Loog Oldham, it is recorded at RCA Studios in Hollywood, and Olympic Studios and Pye Studios in London from August 3 - 11November 8 - 26, and December 13, 1966. The Stones will begin recording their fifth album as they are launching their third American tour in the Summer of 1966. Final recording will take place back in London in November and December. The UK and US albums will differ in track listing as the US version will omit "Back Street Girl" and "Please Go Home," adding "Let's Spend The Night Together" and "Ruby Tuesday" (#1 Pop) in their place. Between The Buttons will peak at #3 on the UK album chart, #2 on the Billboard Top 200, and is certified Gold in the US by the RIAA.

On this day in music history: January 20, 1967 - “Sweet Soul Music” by Arthur Conley is recorded at FAME Studios in Muscle Shoals, AL. Written by Otis Redding and Arthur Conley, it is the debut single and biggest hit for the R&B singer from Hinesfield, GA. Conley is discovered by Soul legend Redding who will take the singer under his wing and release one single for Conley on his own Jotis Records label in 1965, before helping him secure a recording contract with Atlantic Records’ Atco subsidiary in late 1966. The pair will write Conley’s first hit, taking its inspiration from the Sam Cooke song “Yeah Man” and name checking several R&B contemporaries including Lou Rawls, Sam & Dave, Wilson Pickett, James Brown, and Redding himself. Released in February of 1967, “Sweet Soul Music” will quickly climb both the R&B and pop singles charts peaking #2 on both charts in May of 1967. "Sweet Soul Music" is certified Gold in the US by the RIAA.

On this day in music history: January 20, 1968 - "Chain Of Fools" by Aretha Franklin hits #1 on the Billboard R&B singles chart for four weeks, also peaking at #2 for two weeks on the same date. Written by Don Covay, is the fourth R&B chart-topper for the "Queen of Soul." Franklin will record her version on June 23, 1967 at Atlantic Studios in New York City with members of the Muscle Shoals rhythm section, sax player King Curtis, and background vocals by Aretha's sisters Erma and Carolyn Franklin, The Sweet Inspirations, and songwriter Ellie Greenwich. The track also features guitarist Joe South who will add the song's memorable opening chord to the intro after the initial recording is completed. In its original form, "Chain Of Fools" runs nearly four and a half minutes, then considered far too long to be released as a single. Engineer Tom Dowd will skillfully edit and remix the song down to a more radio friendly length, even moving the verses and choruses around to give them a tighter structure than the way they were originally recorded. Released in late November of 1967, the song is an instant smash. "Chain" will be Franklin's fourth single to top the R&B singles chart in just ten months. "Chain Of Fools" is certified Gold in the US by the RIAA.

On this day in music history: January 20, 1978 - Infinity, the fourth album by Journey is released. Produced by Roy Thomas Baker, it is recorded at His Master's Wheels Studio in San Francisco and Cherokee Studios in Los Angeles from October - December 1977. After three modest selling albums, the San Francisco-based rock band will look to heighten their profile by recruiting a stronger lead vocalist. Initially, singer Robert Fleischman is chosen and will record a few tracks with band. When it's decided that the tracks recorded with Fleischman aren't suitable for release, they will continue searching for another vocalist. Producer Scott Matthews will recommend Steve Perry to Journey's manager Herbie Herbert, playing him a demo by Alien Project -- a band Matthews is working with that features Perry on lead vocals. Herbert will introduce Perry to the rest of the band who initially have some misgivings, feeling that his more mainstream musical approach does not mesh with their progressive rock sound. In spite of this, he is hired and will share lead vocal duties with founding member Gregg Rolie until the latter leaves in 1980. Perry's vocals and songwriting ability will help move the band in a more mainstream direction and bring them great commercial success. The album will spin off three singles including "Wheel In The Sky" (#57 Pop) and "Lights" (#68 Pop). Infinity will peak at #21 on the Billboard Top 200, and is certified 3x Platinum in the US by the RIAA.

On this day in music history: January 20, 1978City To City, the second album by Gerry Rafferty is released. Produced by Hugh Murphy, it is recorded at Chipping Norton Recording Studios in Chipping Norton, Oxon, UK; and Marquee Studios and Berwick Studios in London from Spring - Fall of 1977. It will be the Scottish-born singer/songwriter's first solo release in more than six years (and first recording of any kind since 1975) due to commitments to his former band Stealer's Wheel and legal issues that will prevent him from recording. "City" will be hugely successful, spinning off three singles including the album's centerpiece "Baker Street" (#2 Pop for 6 weeks), which Rafferty will select as the first single over the initial objection of his label United Artists Records who prefer the title track. According to music publishing society BMI (Broadcast Music Incorporated), by 2010 "Baker Street" has been on radio over five million times. City To City will hit number one on the Billboard Top 200 for one week, ending the 24 week run at the top for the Saturday Night Fever soundtrack, and is certified Platinum in the US by the RIAA.

On this day in music history: January 20, 1979 - "Aqua Boogie (A Psychoalphadiscobetabioaquadoloop)" by Parliament hits #1 on the Billboard R&B singles chart for four weeks, also peaking at #89 on the Hot 100 on February 24th. Written by George Clinton, William "Bootsy" Collins, and Bernie Worrell, it is the second chart-topping single for the R&B/Funk band led by singer/songwriter Clinton. The song is conceptualized to be the cornerstone of a highly ambitious concert tour, looking to surpass Parliament's innovative and acclaimed "P-Funk Earth Tour" in 1977. Part of the show's concept is to make the stage area look as if the band were playing underwater. When it raises too many technical issues and proves to be too cost prohibitive, the plan will be abandoned. Released as the first single from Parliament's eighth album Motor Booty Affair, "Aqua Boogie" it is an immediate hit on R&B radio stations, though unlike previous singles like "Give Up The Funk (Tear The Roof Off The Sucker)" (#5 R&B, #15 Pop), and "Flashlight"(1 R&B, #16 Pop), it will fail to crossover to the pop chart.

On this day in music history: January 20, 1983Pyromania, the third album by Def Leppard is released. Produced by Robert John "Mutt" Lange, it is recorded at Park Gates Studios in Battle, East Sussex, UK and Battery Studios in London from January - November of 1982. Following the modest sucess of their High 'n' Dry album, the hard rock band from Sheffield, UK will take a quantum leap forward with their third release. Once again working with South African-born producer "Mutt" Lange (AC/DC, Billy Ocean, Shania Twain), the producer will drive the band relentlessly to come up with first rate material and to deliver the best performances possible during the recording process. Guitarist Phil Collen will replace original member Pete Willis midway through the sessions when Willis's drinking problem comes to a head, effectively forcing him out of the band. The end result of the sessions will yield a rock record, highly polished and radio friendly, but with plenty of edginess to please the band's hardcore fanbase. It will prove to be their major commercial breakthrough, spinning off three singles including "Photograph" (#12 Pop), "Rock Of Ages" (#16 Pop), and "Foolin'" (#28 Pop), all accompanied by music videos that garner heavy MTV airplay. Pyromania will spend two weeks at #2 on the Billboard Top 200, and is certified 10x Platinum in the US, becoming their first album to receive a Diamond certification.

Relevant Tags

Journey (10), Aretha Franklin (17), Arthur Conley (1), The Rolling Stones (19), The Beatles (62), Music History Monday (81), Gerry Rafferty (4), Parliament (5), Def Leppard (7)