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Music History Monday: December 9

Posted by Jeff Harris, December 9, 2013 08:30am | Post a Comment

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

On this day in music history: December 9, 1962Meet The Supremes, the debut album by The Supremes is released. Produced by Berry Gordy, Smokey Robinson, Brian Holland, Lamont Dozier, and Raynoma Liles, it is recorded at Motown Studio A in Detroit from October 1960 - September 1962. It features the first four singles released by the group during 1961 and 1962. All fared poorly on the charts in spite of the company's best writers and producers efforts to come up with a hit single for the group. In the wake of the group's breakthrough success with their second full-length Where Did Our Love Go?, the album will be reissued in early 1965 (originally issued in mono, it is remixed in true stereo with different cover artwork). Original copies of Meet The Supremes are among the rarest of the early Motown LPs and command up to $500 for a near mint copy today.
 


On this day in music history: December 9, 1966Fresh Cream,  the debut album by Cream is released. Produced by Robert Stigwood, it is recorded at Rayrik Studios and Ryemuse Studios in London from July - October 1966. The first release by the British rock supergroup is also the first release on manager/producer Stigwood's newly formed Reaction Records in the UK, and will be released by Atlantic Records subsidiary Atco in the US. Featuring a mixture of covers and original material, it will include some of the band's signature songs including their first single "I Feel Free" and the blues standards "I'm So Glad," "Spoonful," and "Rollin' And Tumblin'." The original US LP pressings will feature a different track sequence than the UK version, exchanging "Spoonful" for "I Feel Free," which had been issued as a stand alone single in the UK. Fresh Cream will peak at #6 on the UK album chart, and #39 on the Billboard Top 200.
 

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Music History Monday: December 2

Posted by Jeff Harris, December 2, 2013 09:30am | Post a Comment

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

On this day in music history: December 2, 1967 - "Daydream Believer" by The Monkees hits #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 for four weeks. Written by John Stewart, it is the third (and final) #1 single for The Monkees. Though it is recorded during sessions for the band's fourth album Pisces, Aquarius, Capricorn & Jones, Ltd., it will be released initially as a stand alone single. It will be included on their next full-length release The Birds, The Bees & The Monkees. Singer and songwriter John Stewart ("Gold") will write the song while he is still a member of the folk music band The Kingston Trio. The song will be brought to The Monkees by their producer Chip Douglas, assigning it to Davy Jones to sing. Initially Davy isn't fond of the song, unsure that it will be a hit. Any doubt about its hit potential will be quickly erased as soon as it's released. Entering the Hot 100 at #33 on November 18, 1967, it will shoot to the top of the chart only three weeks later. "Daydream Believer" will become a hit again in early 1980 when country/pop singer Anne Murray's version tops the Adult Contemporary chart, as well as peaking at #3 on the country chart and #12 on the Hot 100. The Monkees version of "Daydream Believer" is certified Gold in the US by the RIAA.

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Music History Monday: November 25

Posted by Jeff Harris, November 25, 2013 09:10am | Post a Comment

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

On this day in music history: November 25, 1968The 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.
 

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Music History Monday: November 18

Posted by Jeff Harris, November 18, 2013 11:35am | Post a Comment

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

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, 1974The 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!
 

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Music History Monday: November 11

Posted by Jeff Harris, November 11, 2013 12:14pm | Post a Comment

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

On this day in music history: November 11, 1968 Unfinished Music No. 1: Two Virgins by John Lennon and Yoko Ono is released (UK release date is on November 29, 1968). Produced by John Lennon and Yoko Ono, it is recorded at Kenwood Sun Room (John Lennon home studio) in Weybridge, Surrey, UK on May 19, 1968. The avant garde recording is the result of an all-night recording session consisting of tape loops combined with minimal instrumentation, sound effects, and ad-libbed dialogue between Lennon and Ono. The album will become infamous for its cover art which feature photos of the couple naked on both the front and back of the LP. This will stir up such great controversy that Apple Records' US distributor Capitol Records and UK distributor EMI will refuse to handle the album. Tetragrammaton Records will distribute it in the US, while Track Records will distribute it in the UK (limited to only 5,000 copies). Retailers outraged by the nudity on the cover will only agree to sell it if it is packaged in a brown paper bag. Though in one instance, 30,000 copies of the album are seized from a distributor in New Jersey. Treated more as a curiosity by fans, the album will be officially reissued in the US by Rykodisc in 1997. Unfinished Music No. 1: Two Virgins will peak at #124 on the Billboard Top 200.

On this day in music history: November 11, 1975Gratitude, the seventh album by Earth, Wind & Fire is released. Produced by Maurice White, Charles Stepney, and Joe Wissert (live tracks), it is recorded in Chicago, Los Angeles, St. Louis, Atlanta, Boston, New York, Philadelphia, and Washington DC from late 1974 - mid 1975 (live tracks) and Hollywood Sound and Wally Heider Studios in Hollywood in June of 1975 (studio tracks). Following their huge breakthrough success with "That's The Way Of The World," Columbia Records will request another album from the band to be released in time for the 1975 Christmas holiday season. Not having enough time or new material written to record a brand new studio album, they begin recording their live shows. The finished album will be a two-LP set with three sides of live material and a fourth side with five new songs. It will spin off the hits "Sing A Song" (#1 R&B, #5 Pop) and "Can't Hide Love (#11 R&B, #39 Pop). The album will be regarded by many fans and critics as one of the best live recordings of all time. "Gratitude" will spend three weeks at #1 on the Billboard Top 200, six weeks (non-consecutive) on the R&B album chart, and is certified 3x Platinum in the US by the RIAA.
 

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