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Music History Monday: November 24

Posted by Jeff Harris, November 24, 2014 10:40am | Post a Comment

To read more Behind The Grooves, go to http://behindthegrooves.tumblr.com.

On this day in music history: November 24, 1966 - The Beatles will begin recording "Strawberry Fields Forever" at Abbey Road Studios in London. After a three month vacation, the band will return to the studio to begin work on the follow up to "Revolver." The first song recorded is a new composition of John Lennon's titled "Strawberry Fields Forever." Lennon will write the song in Almeria, Spain while filming How I Won The War with director Richard Lester in the early Fall of 1966. One take of the song will be recorded that evening, though it'll change dramatically and grow more complex over the month that it takes to complete the track. The song will mark the beginning of a new era in the band's creativity that will change the face of popular music yet again. The song is named for a Salvation Army orphanage around the corner from Lennon's childhood home in Liverpool where he would attend garden parties in the summer. Once in the studio, the song will evolve from a gentle, sparsely arranged ballad to a heavily scored piece with horns and strings complimenting the basic track. The finished version of the song will consist of two separate versions. Lennon will like the first half of the first remake and the second half of another. He will suggest to producer George Martin that the two be edited together, which at first seems to not be possible since they are recorded in different keys and tempos. Martin will discover that by increasing the speed of one and slowing down the other recording, that they will match. Originally intended to be part of the band's next album (Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band), "Strawberry Fields Forever" will instead be issued as one half of a double A-sided single in February 1967 (w/ "Penny Lane"). It will peak at #2 on the UK singles chart and #8 on the Billboard Hot 100.
 

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Music History Monday: November 17

Posted by Jeff Harris, November 17, 2014 10:14am | Post a Comment

To read more Behind The Grooves, go to http://behindthegrooves.tumblr.com.

On this day in music history: November 17, 1962 - "Big Girls Don't Cry" by The Four Seasons hits #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 for five weeks, also topping the R&B singles chart for three weeks on the same date. Written by Bob Crewe and Bob Gaudio, it is the second consecutive chart-topping single for the New Jersey-based quartet fronted by singer Frankie Valli. The song's title is inspired by a line in the 1955 western Tennessee's Partner in which the actor John Payne slaps actress Rhonda Fleming in the face, and she replies, "Big girls don't cry." Like its predecessor "Sherry," it will storm the charts quickly. Entering the Hot 100 at #66 on October 20, 1962, it will zoom to the top of the chart just four weeks later. Twenty five years after its original release, the song will also be heard in the film and featured on the soundtrack to Dirty Dancing. "Big Girls Don't Cry" is certified Gold in the US by the RIAA.
 


On this day in music history: November 17, 1971 - Live-Evil, the 38th album by Miles Davis, is released. Produced by Teo Macero, it is recorded at The Cellar Door in Washington DC on December 19, 1970, and at Columbia Studio B from February - June 1970. The half live/half in-studio recorded double LP set consists of eight extended electric based jams featuring Davis supported by musicians such as Herbie Hancock, Chick Corea, John McLaughlin, Michael Henderson, Jack DeJohnette, Billy Cobham, Wayne Shorter, Dave Holland, Airto Moreira, and Keith Jarrett. Originally conceived as a continuation of the landmark Bitches Brew, it will differ greatly from its predecessor by incorporating more rock and funk elements. It will be well received upon its release and is considered a pioneering jazz/funk recording, as well as one of the cornerstones of Davis's "Electric Period." The album's distinctive cover art was created by artist Mati Klarwein, best known for cover art on Bitches Brew and Santana's Abraxas. Davis will tell Klarwein that he wants something representing "life" on the front cover, and something representing "evil" on the back. The front will feature a painting of a pregnant African woman, while the back features a grotesque looking amphibian like creature in a powered wig clutching its belly. The latter painting is inspired by a picture that the artist sees of infamous FBI director J. Edgar Hoover on the cover of Time Magazine. "Live-Evil" will peak at number 125 on the Billboard Top 200 and number four on the Jazz chart.
 

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Music History Monday: November 10

Posted by Jeff Harris, November 10, 2014 10:59am | Post a Comment

To read more Behind The Grooves, go to http://behindthegrooves.tumblr.com.

On this day in music history: November 10, 1975Chicago IX: Chicago's Greatest Hits, the ninth Chicago IXalbum by Chicago, is released. Produced by James William Guercio, it is recorded at CBS Studios in New York City, Columbia Recording Studios in Los Angeles, and the Caribou Ranch in Nederland, CO from January 1969 - December 1973. The first greatest hits package for the band, the 11-song compilation will feature tracks from Chicago's first seven albums. Though it will exclude any selections from their third and fourth albums, due to Chicago III not yielding a major hit single and their sprawling 4-LP live set recorded at Carnegie Hall also not having any singles released from it. It will also not contain any tracks from Chicago VIII, which had only been released eight months before. Since XI is issued only as a single LP, it will include the edited versions of "Does Anybody Really Know What Time It Is? (original pressings feature the promo radio edit, later replaced by the commercial 45 edit when reissued on CD), "Make Me Smile," and "Beginnings" (faded earlier to run only 6:28, with the full 7:51version restored on the CD release) to meet the time constraints of vinyl. The album's cover artwork features a photo of the band members on a painting scaffold, making it one of the few Chicago albums to actually feature the band on the front cover. Original vinyl pressings will feature custom label artwork and inner sleeve, with later repressings using the standard red Columbia label and generic inner sleeves. CBS will also release the album in quadraphonic stereo. Chicago IX: Chicago's Greatest Hits will spend five weeks at number one on the Billboard Top 200, and is certified 5x Platinum in the US by the RIAA.

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Music History Monday: November 3

Posted by Jeff Harris, November 3, 2014 10:07am | Post a Comment

To read more Behind The Grooves, go to http://behindthegrooves.tumblr.com.

On this day in music history: November 3, 1962 - "He's A Rebel" by The Crystals hits #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 for two weeks. Written by Gene Pitney, it is biggest hit for the New York-based girl group. The song is originally written for The Shirelles who will turn it down. Producer Phil Spector will hear the song and immediately want to record it with his group The Crystals. Spector soon discovers that Vikki Carr has already recorded it (with producer Snuff Garrett) and it is about to be released as a single. The Crystals are on tour at the time on the East Coast and are not available. Not wasting any time, Spector has Darlene Love & The Blossoms record it instead, but releases it under The Crystals name. Cut at Gold Star Studios in Hollywood with members of The Wrecking Crew, the single is rush released in late August of 1962. Entering the Hot 100 at #98 on September 8, 1962, The Crystals version will shoot to the top of the chart eight weeks later, while Vikki Carr's bubbles under at #115. Carr will not debut on the Hot 100 until September of 1967 with her breakthrough hit "It Must Be Him" (#3 Pop).
 

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Music History Monday: October 27

Posted by Jeff Harris, October 27, 2014 10:49am | Post a Comment

To read more Behind The Grooves, go to http://behindthegrooves.tumblr.com.

On this day in music history: October 27, 1956 - “Ain’t Got No Home” by Clarence “Frogman” Henry is released. Written by Clarence Henry, it is the debut single and first hit for the New Orleans-born singer and pianist. Issued on Chess RecordsArgo imprint, the song will quickly establish Henry's music career and make him a staple of the Bourbon Street strip in his hometown. The rock & roll classic will peak at #3 on the Billboard Rhythm & Blues chart and #20 on the Best Sellers chart in January of 1957. "Ain't Got No Home" will become a pop cultural touchstone, later being featured in several films including Diner, The Lost Boys, and Casino, and has been covered by numerous artists over the years including a version by The Band.
 


On this day in music history: October 27, 1975 - Bruce Springsteen will make history when he Bruce Springsteen, Time, Newsweekappears on the covers of both Time and Newsweek Magazine the same week. Riding a huge wave of success brought on by Born To Run, Springsteen will find the massive amount publicity generated by his record label, and the overwhelming amount of attention he receives in the wake of it, unnerving and attempts to distance himself from it in order to maintain his artistic integrity. Before his performance at the Hammersmith Odeon in London (on November 18, 1975), he will tear down posters at the venue that bare the legend “Finally London is ready for Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band.”

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