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Music History Monday: August 25

Posted by Jeff Harris, August 25, 2014 12:03am | Post a Comment

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

Born on this day: August 25, 1949 - Gene Simmons (born Chaim Weitz in Tirat Carmel, Haifa, Israel), bassist and vocalist of KISS. Happy 65th Birthday, Gene!
 



Born on this day: August 25, 1954 - Singer, songwriter, and musician Elvis Costello (born Declan Patrick MacManus in Paddington, London, UK). Happy 60th Birthday, Elvis!


Remembering singer and actress Aaliyah (born Aaliyah Dana Haughton in Brooklyn, NY), January 16, 1979 - August 25, 2001.
 


On this day in music history: August 25, 1975 - Born To Run, the third album by Bruce Springsteen is released. Produced by Bruce Springsteen, Mike Appel, and Jon Landau, it is recorded at 914 Sound Studios in Blauvelt, NY and The Record Plant in New York City from January 1974 - July 1975. After the poor initial sales of his first two albums, Greetings From Asbury Park, NJ and The Wild, The Innocent, And The E Street Shuffle, the critical third album will be Springsteen's last shot to prove his commercial viability or be dropped by his label Columbia Records. Springsteen and his band will spend over 14 months in the studio laboring over the album until he feels it is perfect. Even upon completion of the album, Springsteen will still be unsure and nervous about its chances in the commercial marketplace. His doubts will be quelled after he leaks an early version of the title track to rock radio. The positive response it receives will stoke demand for the album among the musician's loyal fanbase and will finally attract the attention of radio. Upon its release, Born To Run will be a commercial and artistic triumph for the New Jersey-born rocker, spinning off two singles including the title track (#23 Pop), with several other songs on the the album ("Thunder Road," Tenth Avenue Freeze-Out," "Backstreets," "She's The One") becoming rock radio staples and highlights of Springsteen's epic live concert performances. The album's iconic cover photo (taken by photographer Eric Meola), features Bruce holding his trademark '53 Fender Esquire while leaning on saxophonist Clarence Clemons shoulder. The picture is taken during a three hour long photo shoot and is selected out of 900 frames shot by the photographer. The cover will become most of the most imitated and parodied images in rock history. In 2005, the album will be reissued as a three disc box set to commemorate its 30th anniversary. It will include a remastered version of the original album and two DVDs. The first being an extensive documentary about the making of the landmark album titled "Wings For Wheels," which will win a Grammy Award for Best Long Form Music Video in 2007. The third disc is a complete and previously unreleased live concert filmed at the Hammersmith Odeon in London in November of 1975 and additional footage from a show filmed at Ahmanson Theater in Los Angeles in May of 1973. Born To Run will peak at number three on the Billboard Top 200 and is certified 6x Platinum in the US by the RIAA.
 

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Music History Monday: March 3

Posted by Jeff Harris, March 3, 2014 10:00am | Post a Comment

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

On this day in music history: March 3, 1972Music of My Mind, the fourteenth studio album by Stevie Wonder is released. Produced by Stevie Wonder, Bob Margouleff, and Malcolm Cecil, it is recorded Media Sound Studios and Electric Lady Studios in New York City, and Crystal Industries in Los Angeles from mid 1971 - early 1972. After recording for Motown since the age of 12, Stevie Wonder's contract with the label expires when he turns 21 years old on May 13, 1971. In spite of millions in record sales and earnings generated, he will find that there is only $1 million held in trust for him. Instead of renewing his contract with Motown, he'll move to New York and begin working with Bob Margouleff and Malcolm Cecil of Tonto's Expanding Head Band who will assist him in taking his music to the next level. Experimenting with synthesizers, Wonder will block book studio time and record for several months before re-emerging with a new sound and career direction. Having fielded several offers from rival record companies, he will re-sign with Motown Records but strictly on his own terms. He will negotiate a deal that gives him complete artistic control, his own music publishing company, and one of the highest royalty rates in the music business. Released as the first album under his new deal, Music of My Mind will be a major turning point for Stevie Wonder, beginning an era that will produce some of his most critically acclaimed and commercially successful work. Spinning off two singles including "Superwoman (Where Were You When I Needed You)" (#13 R&B, #33 Pop), and "Keep On Running" (#36 R&B, #90 Pop), Music Of My Mind will peak at #6 on the Billboard R&B album chart and #21 on the Top 200.
 

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Music History Monday: August 12

Posted by Jeff Harris, August 12, 2013 12:55pm | Post a Comment

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

On this day in music history: August 12, 1968Cheap Thrills, the second album by Big Brother And The Holding Company is released. Produced by John Simon, it is recorded at Columbia Recording cheap thrills big brother & the holding company janis joplinStudios in New York City (studio tracks) and the Winterland Ballroom in San Francisco (live tracks) from March - May of 1968. Following the band's breakthrough performance at the Monterey Pop Festival in June of 1967, they will be approached by Clive Davis, then the head Columbia Records, who is eager to sign them. At the time, Big Brother is signed to independent label Mainstream Records, who will release their self titled debut album in August of 1967. It will take several months for the band to be extricated from their Mainstream contract and sign with Columbia, which will take place in early 1968. Once freed from their prior obligations, they will be paired with producer John Simon (The Band), and they will begin work on their second album. The initial plan is to record Big Brother in concert, producing an album that captures the band's electric live performances. When the results are lackluster, they will record much of the album in Columbia's New York recording studio, with the closing track "Ball And Chain" being recorded at Winterland in San Francisco (though the original release will erroneously credit it being recorded at the Fillmore East in New York). Originally titled Sex, Dope, and Cheap Thrills, Columbia Records will refuse to release it with that title, and make the band revise it. The album's iconic cover art by underground artist Robert Crumb (Zap Comix) is first intended to appear on the back of the LP jacket with a photo of Janis Joplin on the front. Joplin is so enamored with Crumb's artwork that it will be put on the front instead. Anchored by the hit single "Piece Of My Heart" (#12 Pop), it will be major success. When Columbia originally issues the LP along with the standard stereo version, the label will press a very limited amount of the mono version (an estimated 3,000 - 5,000 copies only), before quickly deleting it, turning it into a highly priced and sought after collector's item. The mono version of the album will be reissued in November of 2012 as a limited edition 180g vinyl LP pressing. Cheap Thrills will spend eight weeks (non-consecutive) at #1 on the Billboard Top 200, and to date has been certified 2x Platinum by the RIAA.
 

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Albums Out Dec. 11: Jawbreaker, Green Day, Bruno Mars and More

Posted by Billy Gil, December 10, 2012 07:03pm | Post a Comment

Jawbreaker – Bivouac [20th Anniversary Edition]

Jawbreaker BivouacCD $12.98

LP $18.98

Unlike some of its alt-rock contemporaries (call it emo or whatever, Bivouac is firmly 1991 in sound), Jawbreaker’s Bivouac is ripe for reissue because A) it can’t be found in your average record store, B) it was overlooked during its time and C) it has aged better than your average album of the era. Beginning with the roaring “Shield Your Eyes,” the album still hits hard, thanks to Blake Schwarzenbach razor vocals and the band’s scrappy attack. “Chesterfield King” echoes the boozy swagger of their elders in The Replacements, while “Sleep’s” sheet of guitars and hushed melodies place them as both Husker Du’s heir and as a band making music akin to their shoegazing brethren across the pond. For new listeners, especially those interested in some of the roots of emo, the brutal “Parabola” and the title track, which balances delicate passages with high-octane chunks of ferocious noise for 10 breathtaking minutes, should be elucidating in and of themselves. If only emo had stayed as good as Bivouac, we’d all be better off! The LP has four fewer tracks than the CD (as it did in the original pressing); the Chesterfield King EP also is reissued, including those four tracks (“Tour Song,” “Face Down,” “You Don’t Know…” and “Pack it Up”).

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100 Famous Rock Guitar Riffs Offers Concise History of Rock N' Roll

Posted by Billyjam, July 17, 2012 10:00am | Post a Comment
      

Rock music has way too many incredibly memorable guitar riffs to limit a best of list to just one hundred, but the 100 riffs that guitarist Alex Chadwick of The Chicago Music Exchange came up with for the above video performance ain't half bad, and it is a nice informal overview of the history of rock n' roll. Sure it's a subjective selection that includes a lot of mega hits of the genre, and no doubt every rock fan could come up with their own unique list of a hundred best guitar riffs. But I like what Alex has done: from his playing to his choices of riffs, and from how he segues from song to song, to how he plays it on his 1958 Fender Strat all in chronological order. Below is that list of songs and artists in order with the artist names that are blue highlighted linking back to the Amoeba Online Store. where you can find their respective music (CDs, LPs, DVDs) including (in near all cases) the song played by Alex.

SONG/ARTIST PLAYLIST & AMOEBA SHOP LINK OF ALEX'S 100 GUITAR RIFFS (IN ORDER):


1 "Mr. Sandman"  Chet Atkins
2 "Folsom Prison Blues" Johnny Cash
3 "Words of Love"  Buddy Holly
4 "Johnny B Goode"  Chuck Berry
5 "Rumble"  Link Wray

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