Tuesday, June 7, 2011

This Date in Rock Music History: June 8


1954:  Radio stations began receiving 45 records as opposed to 78's.
1960:  Roy Orbison released "Only the Lonely".
1961:  Elvis Presley's movie Wild in the Country premiered.
1963:  The Beatles released "My Bonnie" in the U.K. under the name Tony Sheridan and the Beatles.
1963:  "Another Saturday Night" from Sam Cooke occupied the #1 spot on the R&B chart.

         Cole could deliver a song like no one else...


1963:  Lesley Gore remained at #1 with "It's My Party" but Kyu Sakamoto was climbing fast (10-2) with "Sukiyaki".  The Crystals were at #3 with "Da Doo Ron Ron", Al Martino had "I Love You Because" and the Dovells were at 5 with "You Can't Sit Down".  The rest of the Top 10:  "Two Faces Have I" from Lou Christie was song #6, Jimmy Soul's "If You Wanna' Be Happy" tumbled to #7, Bill Anderson had #8 with "Still", Nat King Cole's great song "Those Lazy-Hazy-Crazy Days of Summer" moved from 16-9 and the Beach Boys were on their way down with "Surfin' U.S.A.".

1964:  The Dave Clark Five released the single "Can't You See That She's Mine".
1966:  The new Elvis Presley movie Paradise Hawaiian Style opened in theaters.
1967:  Brian Jones of the Rolling Stones joined the Beatles in the studio on saxophone to record "You Know My Name (Look Up the Number)".
1967:  Procol Harum had the #1 U.K. song with "A Whiter Shade of Pale".
1968:  The 5th Dimension moved from 95 to 53 with "Stoned Soul Picnic".
1968:  "Ain't Nothing Like the Real Thing" from Marvin Gaye & Tammi Terrell was #1 on the R&B chart.
1968:  "This Guy's In Love With You" by Herb Alpert took over at #1 on the Adult Contemporary chart.  It would not relinquish that position for 10 weeks.
      
           "Mony Mony" was movin' up...

1968:  "Mrs Robinson" from Simon & Garfunkel was #1 again.  Archie Bell & the Drells slid up to 2 with "Tighten Up" while Herb Alpert's classic "This Guy's In Love With You" moved from 11-3.  Hugo Montenegro's former #1 "The Good, the Bad and the Ugly" was at #4 and Tommy James & the Shondells made #5 with "Mony Mony".  The rest of the Top 10:  Ohio Express remained at 6 with "Yummy Yummy Yummy", Richard Harris had a hit with "MacArthur Park", the Rascals were going down with "A Beautiful Morning", Aretha Franklin had her 20th hit and 7th Top 10 with "Think" and the former #1 "Honey", one of the Top Songs of the Rock Era* from Bobby Goldsboro, was now at 10.

       "America" helped Bookends become a classic...


1968:  The great album Bookends by Simon & Garfunkel was #1 for a third week with the former #1 Soundtrack to "The Graduate" remaining at #2.  



1970:  Bread released the single "Make It with You".
1970:  The van of Deep Purple was impounded by East German police after it "mistakenly got too close to the border".  Silly Deep Purple.
1974:  Bill Wyman of the Rolling Stones released a solo album.
1974:  Rick Wakeman announced he was leaving the group Yes for a solo career.

1974:  The great song "Rock Your Baby" by George McCrae moved from 93 to 62.  It would finish the decade as the top-selling song of the 70's.
1974:  "Sundown" by Gordon Lightfoot was the new #1 on the Adult Contemporary chart.



   
        "Raised on Robbery", from the great Joni Mitchell...


1974:  Band on the Run by Paul McCartney & Wings was the new #1 album, replacing the Soundtrack to "The Sting" by Marvin Hamlisch.  Cat Stevens held down #3 with Buddha and the Chocolate Box while Maria Muldaur was at #4.  The rest of the Top 10:  John Denver's Greatest Hits remained at 5, Gordon Lightfoot moved to #6 with Sundown, Chicago VII was at #7, Grand Funk slipped with Shinin' On, Joni Mitchell's great album Court and Spark entered the Top 10 and Elton John was at #10, 34 weeks since the release of Goodbye Yellow Brick Road.

1974:  "Band on the Run", one of the Top Songs of the Rock Era* by Paul McCartney & Wings was the new #1 song.  "For the Love of Money" by the O'Jays was the only new song in the Top 10.
1978:  The Alan Parsons Project released the album I Robot.
1979:  It was a Midnight Special worth staying up for.  Gloria Gaynor hosted Paul McCartney & Wings, Rod Stewart and Bad Company.
1982:  Simon and Garfunkel began their first reunion tour in Paris, France.
1985:  The Style Council owned the top album in the U.K. with Our Favourite Shop.
1985:  "Rock Me Tonight" by Freddie Jackson was #1 on the R&B chart for a second week.

Newcomers Katrina & the Waves with their positive song...


1985:  Tears for Fears" were on top with "Everybody Wants To Rule the World".  Katrina & the Waves entered the Top 10 with "Walking on Sunshine".  



1987:  U2 released the single "I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For".
1990:  Mariah Carey released her famous debut album.
1991:  Bruce Springsteen married Patti Scialfa.
1991:  Spellbound, featuring "Rush Rush" and "Blowing Kisses in the Wind" from Paula Abdul was the #1 album.  


1991:  Extreme took over at #1 with "More Than Words".  "I Wanna' Sex You Up" from Color Me Badd was #2 but Paula Abdul was making her move with "Rush, Rush".  Mariah Carey fell to #4 with "I Don't Wanna' Cry" and Michael Bolton fell to 5 with "Love Is a Wonderful Thing".  The rest of the Top 10:  R.E.M. at 6 with "Losing My Religion", Hi-Five had the #7 song with "I Like the Way (The Kissing Game)", EMF's smash "Unbelievable" was up to #8, Whitney Houston had her 16th hit and 13th Top 10 with "Miracle" and Luther Vandross moved into the list with "Power of Love/Love Power".
1991:  "I Don't Wanna' Cry" by Mariah Carey was #1 on the Adult Contemporary chart, which by that time had taken over as the top music format.
1996:  Accomplished songwriter Carole Bayer Sager married Robert Davy.


1996:  Toni Braxton had an incredible debut at #7 with "You're Makin' Me High"/"Let It Flow".  The double-sided hit was one of the highest debuts of the Rock Era.
1996:  The Score by the Fugees was #1 on the album chart for the third week.  Soundgarden debuted at #2 with Down on the Upside.  Jagged Little Pill from Alanis Morisette was still hanging around at #4 after 50 weeks.
1999:  Prince released The Hits Collection home video.

2003:  Evanescence rose to #1 in the U.K. with "Bring Me to Life".
2003:  Dave Buckner, drummer of Papa Roach, announced his engagement to Mia Tyler, the daughter of Aerosmith lead singer Steven Tyler.  Oh the irony--now Tyler would have to put up with seeing his daughter involved with a rock & roller.



2003:  Peter Garrett of Midnight Oil was made a Member of the Order of Australia by Queen Elizabeth II.
2004:  T-Boz of TLC filed for divorce from husband, Mack 10, alleging the rapper was unfaithful and threatened to kill her.  What about rap music didn't T-Boz understand?
2010:  The Eagles appeared at the Rogers Centre in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.


Born This Day:
1940:  Nancy Sinatra was born in Jersey City, New Jersey.
1940:  Sherman Garnes of Frankie Lyman and the Teenagers
1941:  Clarence Haskins of Funkadelic was born in Elkhorn, West Virginia.

1942:  Chuck Negron, who once sang with Three Dog Night but doesn't any longer, was born in the Bronx, New York.







1944:  Boz Scaggs was born in Canton, Ohio.
1947:  Mick Box, guitarist of Uriah Heap, was born in Walthamstow, England.





1950:  Fun-loving drummer Alex Van Halen was born in Nijmegen, Netherlands.







1951:  Bonnie Tyler was born in Swansea, Wales.
1953:  Jeff Rich, drummer of Status Quo and Climax Blues Band, was born in London.





1960:  Mick Hucknall, lead singer of Simply Red, was born in Manchester, England.
1962:  Nick Rhodes, keyboardist of Duran Duran was born in Moseley, England.
1965:  Rob Pilatus of Milli Vanilli was born in Frankfurt, Germany; died of drugs and alcohol April 2, 1998.
1967:  Neil Mitchell, keyboard player for Wet Wet Wet, was born in Helensburgh, Dunbartonshire, Scotland.
1970:  Nicci Gilbert of Brownstone
1977:  Kanye West was born in Atlanta, Georgia.
1981:  Alex Band, singer, songwriter and musician of the Calling, was born in Los Angeles, California.

Discography: Grand Funk

1969:  On Time (#27)
           Grand Funk (#11)
1970:  Closer to Home (#6)
1971:  Survival (#6)
           E Pluribus Funk (#5)
1972:  Phoenix (#7)
1973:  We're an American Band (#2)
1974:  Shinin' On (#5)
           All the Girls in the World Beware!!!(#10)
1976:  Born to Die (#47)
           Good Singin', Good Playin' (#52)
1981:  Grand Funk Lives (#149)
1983:  What's Funk?

Live Albums:
1971:  Live Album (#5)
1975:  Caught in the Act (#21)
1997:  Bosnia
2002:  Live:  The 1971 Tour




Compilations:
1972:  Mark, Don & Mel:  1969-1971 (#17)
1976:  Grand Funk Hits (#126)
1990:  The Best of Grand Funk
1991:  Capitol Collectors Series
1992:  Heavy Hitters!
1999:  Thirty Years of Grand Funk:  1969-1999
2002:  Classic Masters
2006:  Greatest Hits

Five Best Songs: America

This group formed of songs of military servicemen had some of the greatest harmonies the Rock Era has ever seen.  Here are my choices for their Five Best Songs*: 

1.  "A Horse with No Name"

2.  "Sister Golden Hair"

 

3.  "Tin Man"

 
 

4.  "Lonely People"

5.  "Ventura Highway"

The #64 Album of All-Time in the Rock Era: the "White Album" by the Beatles

The blog is featuring one album per day as we count down the Top 100 Albums of All-Time in the Rock Era*.


This album came on the heels of Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club band, one of the all-time classics, that represented the Beatles at their peak.  Needless to say, anticipation and expectations were sky high.  The untitled Beatles album from 1968 that became known as The White Album, is officially certified at 19 million copies, but remember double albums count twice, so in reality the album has sold 9.5 million copies.  The Track Rating* is 8.48, among the lowest in the Top 100.  I'm well aware that some magazines and critics have ranked this album in the Top 10, but when you consider the Track Rating*, a Top 10 ranking is not possible with this album.  Again, double albums are hard to achieve the same quality as single albums.  That said, this album has plenty of good tracks.


I want people to understand my next comments.  The White Album was and is a classic; I completely agree that it should be one of the Top 100 Albums of All-Time in the Rock Era.  Because of the eclectic nature of the songs (the group was really experimenting in more ways than one at the time of its recording), there will be several tracks that some people will shake their heads and say "Why the heck did they include that song on the album?"  That's all part of artistry, and the freedom to record songs that you want to record.  Often, record labels dictate what can and can't be put on an album--the Beatles were big enough that they had the final say on what could be included.  The unique tracks on the album are part of the experience, and The White Album is all over the map in musical styles.







This would be their last great album, as it was, you might say, the beginning of the end for the group.  They had visited the Maharishi Mahesh Yogi in Rishikesh, India for transcendental meditation and, while new ideas were flowing, turmoil was raging inside the Beatles.  Drummer Ringo Starr even quit the group for a short time, with Paul McCartney playing drums on a few of the songs on The White Album.  Producer George Martin noted that the group seemed unfocused and uninspired.  Midway through the album, engineer Geoff Emerick, who had been with the band since the Revolver album, announced that he was leaving.  Extremely sad that the world's greatest group had let ego and greed take the place of friendship, and that those traits forever prevented a reunion after the band's breakup in 1970.  McCartney would observe later "The world was a problem, but we weren't. You know, that was the best thing about The Beatles, until we started to break up, like during the White Album."



The album reached #2 in its second week and #1 in its third.  It spent nine weeks at #1 and 15 in the Top 10.  The 15 weeks inside the Top 10 is one of the lowest of the Top 100 Albums*.  The White Album  spent an impressive 155 weeks (just short of 3 years) on the album chart.  


One single was released from the album, an especially odd fact about the album from a group that had released 30 in the year 1964 alone.  "Revolution", featuring its distorted guitar and a great keyboard solo from Nicky Hopkins, was an alternative to "Revolution 1" and the flip side of the classic "Hey Jude", which originally was released only as a single and not on any album.  "Back in the U.S.S.R.", "Helter Skelter" (as a flip to "Got To Get You Into My Life") and "Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da" with "Julia" as the flip side, were all released in 1976 to promote the Beatles' greatest hits package Rock & Roll Music.


But again, great albums contain much more than hit singles.  "A Day in the Life", which is not only considered by me but many top music critics to be one of the best songs the Beatles ever did, is one of the highlights on the album.  "While My Guitar Gently Weeps" too has become a classic from the album.  "Birthday", "Helter Skelter", "Blackbird" and "Rocky Raccoon" are other respected tracks on the album.


"A Day in the Life" was nominated for Best Arrangement Accompanying Vocalists at the Grammy Awards.


The group made yet another breakthrough in musical recording when they went from the popular four-track recording of the day to an 8-track recording.  Another unique feature of the album was the serial number on the front that gave each pressing a unique number.  The album was all white with "The Beatles" embossed.  Inside, consumers would get a poster, lyrics to the songs, and view photographs from John Kelly.  




The White Album:
All songs written and composed by John Lennon and Paul McCartney, except where noted. 

Side one
1.  "Back in the U.S.S.R."
2.  "Dear Prudence"
3.  "Glass Onion"
4.  "Ob-La-Di, Ob-La Da"
5.  "Wild Honey Pie"
6.  "The Continuing Story of Bungalow Bill"
7.  "While My Guitar Gently Weeps" (George Harrison)
8.  "Happiness is a Warm Gun"



2:43
Side two
1.  "Martha My Dear"
2.  "I'm So Tired"
3.  "Blackbird"
4.  "Piggies" (Harrison)
5.  "Rocky Raccoon"
6.  "Don't Pass Me By" (Richard Starkey)
7.  "Why Don't We Do It in the Road?"
8.  "I Will"
9.  "Julia"



2:54
Side three
1.  "Birthday"
2.  "Yer Blues"
3.  "Mother Nature's Son"
4.  "Everybody's Got Something to Hide Except Me and My Monkey"
5.  "Sexy Sadie"
6.  "Helter Skelter"
7.  "Long Long Long"



3:04
Side four
1.  "Revolution 1"
2.  "Honey Pie"
3.  "Savoy Truffle" (Harrison)
4.  "Cry Baby Cry"
5.  "Revolution 9"
6.  "Good Night"

handclaps, vocal percussion and sound effects, in addition to singing lead, harmony and backing vocals.  John Lennon played lead, electric and acoustic guitars, four and six-string pass, piano, electric piano, Hammond organ, harmonium, mellotron, drums, tambourine, maracas, handclaps, vocal percussion, harmonica, saxophone, whistling, tapes, tape loops and sound affects in addition to providing vocals.  Paul McCartney played lead, electric and acoustic guitars, four and six-string bass, piano, electric piano, Hammond organ, timpani, tambourine, handclaps, vocal percussion, drums, recorder, flugelhorn and sound effects in addition to providing lead and backing vocals.  Ringo Starr played drums, tambourine, bongos, cymbals, maracas, vocal percussion, electric piano, sleigh bell and lead and backing vocals.







Taking a look at the accomplishments credited above, that may seem like no big deal, although that range of instruments from four band members is not even the norm in the 21st century.  Put in perspective, however, it was groundbreaking.  These weren't the same four lads who started out in Liverpool in 1962; they had become highly accomplished musicians besides being the best songwriters the world had ever known.  No one had ever experimented and at the same time revolutionized popular music (or music of any kind) in such a way.  Their songs will be around for 200 years or longer, but the ideas which they pioneered will live forever.


Eric Clapton played lead guitar on "While My Guitar Gently Weeps", Jack Fallon played violin on the album, Mal Evans contributed backing vocals, handclaps and the trumpet on "Helter Skelter", Harrison's wife Pattie sang backup on "Birthday", Jackie Lomax and Ringo's wife Maureen Starkey and Lennon's girlfriend Yoko Ono sang backing vocals, some lead vocals and contributed speech, tape and sound effects on "Revolution 9".  Ted Barker played trombone, Leon Calvert contributed trumpet and flugelhorn, Eric Bowie, Henry Datyner, Norman Lederman, Ronald Thomas, Bernard Miller, Dennis McConnell, Lou Soufier and Les Maddox played violin, Leo Birnbaum, Keith Cummings, Henry Myerscough and John Underwood played viola and Frederick Alexander, Reginald Kilby and Eldon Fox played cello.  Harry Klein, Dennis Walton, Ronald Chamberlain, Jim Chest and Rex Morris played sax, Art Ellefson, Derek Collins and Danny Moss played tenor sax, Bernard George and Ronnie Ross played baritone sax and Raymond Newman and Davis Smith played clarinet .  Alf Reece was on tuba, Tony Tunstall played french horn, Ronnie Hughes and Stanley Reynolds played trumpet and the Mike Sammes Singers contributed backing vocals on "Good Night".


Martin both produced and mixed the album, played piano on "Rocky Raccoon" and arranged the string, brass, clarinet and orchestra.  Barry Sheffield and Ken Scott came in to finish as engineer after Emerick left; Scott also helped mix the album.  Chris Thomas helped produce the album and also played piano, harpsichord and Mellotron.


The album was recorded between May 30 and October 14, 1968 and EMI and Trident Studios in London.  As usual, it was produced by George Martin.  The White Album was the first album to be released on the Beatles' Apple Records on November 22, 1968.


The Beatles have the #64 Album of All-Time in the Rock Era* with The White Album.

Monday, June 6, 2011

This Date in Rock Music History: June 7

1958:  Jerry Lee Lewis starred in the movie High School Confidential.
1964:  Billy J. Kramer and the Dakotas made their live debut on The Ed Sullivan Show.
1964:  During their first U.S. tour, the Rolling Stones were booed off stage in San Antonio, Texas, and members of the Monkees, who were the opening act, had to be brought back on stage to perform.
1965:  Another of those magical days in rock history, as one of the Top 10 Songs of the Rock Era*--"Satisfaction" was released on this date by the Rolling Stones.
1966:  Roy Orbison's wife Claudette was killed in a motorcycle accident.

1969:  Blind Faith (Eric Clapton, Ginger Baker, Steve Winwood and Rick Grech) gave a concert in Hyde Park in London in their British debut.
1969:  Blood, Sweat & Tears had a big hit on their hands with "Spinning Wheel", up from 78 to 33 this week.
1969:  The Beatles made it three straight weeks at #1 with "Get Back".  There were two big movers within the Top 10--"Grazing in the Grass" from the Friends of Distinction moved from 10-3 and CCR climbed up nine from 14-5 with "Bad Moon Rising".

      The Cowsills' title smash helped "Hair" to the #1 spot


1969:  Everyone was into hair, specifically the Soundtrack to "Hair".  It held down #1 on the album chart for the seventh consecutive week.  The monumental Blood, Sweat & Tears album spent a seventh straight week at #2 after being #1 for three weeks prior to Hair.  Bob Dylan remained at #3 with Nashville Skyline while Galveston by Glen Campbell came in fourth.  The rest of the Top 10:  The Soundtrack to "Romeo & Juliet" was #5, Iron Butterfly's In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida was #6, CCR's great album Bayou Country was #7, the 5th Dimension shot up from 32 to 8 with The Age of Aquarius, Donovan's Greatest Hits was #9 and Happy Heart from Andy Williams rounded out the list.
1970:  The Who played the entire opera Tommy at the Metropolitan Opera House in New York City.
1971:  Don McLean recorded "Vincent".
1972:  The musical Grease opened on Broadway.  Richard Gere was among those playing "Danny" during the monumental run while John Travolta played the character Doody at the age of 17.
1974:  The Kinks were the host on The Midnight Special with ELO performing.
1974:  Emerson, Lake & Palmer and Black Oak Arkansas performed at California Jam.
1975:  "Love Will Keep Us Together" was #1 on a second format as the Captain & Tennille ruled the Adult Contemporary chart on this date.

1975:  "Thank God I'm a Country Boy" by John Denver was the new #1 song.  It was Denver's third #1 (following "Sunshine On My Shoulders" and "Annie's Song") and his sixth top 10.  "Sister Golden Hair" moved strongly from 5-2 for America while "How Long" by Ace was #3, Grand Funk moved up to #4 with "Bad Time" and Chicago's "Old Days" was fifth in a pretty solid Top 5.


1975:  Elton John's album Captain Fantastic and the Brown Dirt Cowboy, which came in #85 in the Top 100 Albums of All-Time in the Rock Era*, came out this week and debuted at #1, the first album in history to accomplish the feat and one of a select few in the Rock Era.  Elton toppled Earth, Wind & Fire's album That's the Way of the World while the Soundtrack to "Tommy" fell to #3.  Jeff Beck was #4 with Blow By Blow and America reached #5 with Hearts".  The rest of the Top 10:  Alice Cooper with Welcome To My Nightmare, Chicago VIII was at #7, Bad Company fell to #8 with Straight Shooter, Nuthin' Fancy from Lynyrd Skynyrd was #9 and Carly Simon had the #10 album with Playing Possum.

1976:  England Dan & John Ford Coley released the single "I'd Really Love to See You Tonight".
1976:  Capitol Records released "Got To Get You Into My Life" by the Beatles.  It would become the first hit  of the Beatles since their breakup in 1970.
1977:  Led Zeppelin played the first of six sold-out shows at Madison Square Garden in New York City.
1979:  Chuck Berry was charged with three counts of tax evasion.
1979:  Blondie performed "Sunday Girl" on the British television show Top of the Pops.

This song was kept from #1 by "Funkytown"?  Really?


1980:  "Funkytown" continued to ride the #1 position for Lipps, Inc. with "Coming Up" from Paul McCartney & Wings in the backup spot.  Ambrosia's smash "Biggest Part of Me" was up to #3.  The rest of a pretty good Top 10--"Don't Fall In Love With a Dreamer" from Kenny Rogers with Kim Carnes, "Call Me" from Blondie was on its way down after spending six weeks at #1, "The Rose" from Bette Midler was up from 11 to 6, Bob Seger had song #7 with "Against the Wind", "Hurt So Bad" from Linda Ronstadt was #8, Gary Numan's one and only hit "Cars" drove up to #9 and Elton John's 29th career hit "Little Jeannie" rounded out the impressive list.
1980:  "The Rose" spent a fifth week at #1 for Bette Midler on the Adult Contemporary chart.

1980:  Against the Wind, the Bob Seger album that had the distinction of knocking off Pink Floyd's The Wall from the #1 spot, continued to set the pace for a seventh week.  Billy Joel waited his turn at #2 with Glass Houses while Pink Floyd hung in there at #3.  Just One Night from Eric Clapton was #4.  The rest of the Top 10:  Lipps, Inc. had Mouth To Mouth, Van Halen's newest album Women and Children First was #6, the debut from Christopher Cross held steady at 7, the Isley Brothers were at #8 with Go All the Way, the Pretenders' debut was ninth and Boz Scaggs moved into the Top 10 with Middle Man.
1982:  Elvis Presley's Graceland mansion was opened to the public.
1986:  The album Whitney Houston spent its 11th week at #1 and 36th in the Top 10 and 63rd week on the album chart.

1986:  Madonna had the new #1 with "Live To Tell" but it would be short-lived as Patti LaBelle & Michael McDonald's "On My Own" was closing fast.  Whitney Houston fell to 3 after three weeks at #1 with "Greatest Love of All".
1988:  Bob Dylan appeared at the Concord Pavilion in Concord, California.  Neil Young played guitar on that date.
1991:  Jimmy Osmond married Michelle Larson in Salt Lake City.
1993:  Mysteriously, Prince changed his name to The Artist.
2000:  By this time, we had finally found out why Prince had changed his name to a symbol.  On this date, Prince celebrated reclaiming his name of "Prince" after a 7-year battle with Warner Brothers, who refused to let him record under that name.  If there's a problem, a corporation is usually at the bottom of it.
1993:  Groundbreaking began for the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland, Ohio.
1994:  Boston released their fourth album in 18 years, Walk On.  It was eight years after Third Stage.  We all understood about being meticulous and wanting to get it right.  For an album like their debut, it was fine to take their time.  But if you're going to take eight years to release an album, it better be a classic.
1997:  Gary Barlow had the #1 album in the U.K. with Open Road.

1997:  The Bee Gees had hit #43 of their careers ("Alone") and it was the highest debuting song of the week--position #34.
1997:  Yes, it's true.  Hanson remained at #1 for a third week with "MMMBop".  Hey, everyone has to have their moment in the sun, and this was their time.  
1998:  Wally Gold, a member of the Four Esquires in the late'50's and also a prolific songwriter, died in New Jersey at the age of 70.  Gold wrote "It's Now or Never" for Elvis Presley and "It's My Party" for Lesley Gore.  He also produced Gene Pitney and Kansas.
1999:  Rod Stewart was supposed to ring the opening bell of the New York Stock Exchange but arrived late and threw some soccer balls onto the floor instead.  He didn't quite understand the principle that no one was going to wait for him to open Wall Street.
2002:  The Eagles appeared in concert at the Idaho Center in Nampa, Idaho.
2002:  Research what kind of people you support with your $.  On this date, R. Kelly was taken into custody on child pornography charges.
2006:  The Dixie Chicks had the #1 album with Taking the Long Way.  It was the third #1 album of their career, following Fly and Home.
2007:  The city of Rancho Mirage, California named a street after Dean Martin.
2007:  The funeral of guitar great Bo Diddley was held in Gainseville, Florida.
2009:  Elton John's musical Billy Elliot won 10 Tony Awards, including Best Musical.
2012:  Bob Welch, guitarist for Fleetwood Mac in the early 1970's and a solo artist, died at age 66 of a self-inflicted gunshot in Nashville, Tennessee.

Born This Day:

1917:  The great Dean Martin was born in Stuebenville, Ohio; died December 25, 1995 at his home in Beverly Hills, California from respiratory failure resulting from emphysema.




1940:  Tom Jones (Sir Thomas John Woodward) was born in Treforest, Pontypridd in South Wales and women would be swooning all over him soon.
1944:  Clarence White, guitarist of the Byrds, was born in Lewiston, Maine; died July 15, 1973 after being hit by a drunk driver.
1945:  Billy Butler was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
1955:  Joey Scarbury ("Theme from 'The Greatest American Hero'") was born in Ontario, California.

1958:  Prince was born in Minneapolis, Minnesota.
1966:  Eric Kretz, drummer of Stone Temple Pilots, was born in Santa Cruz, California.
1967:  David Navarro, lead guitarist of Jane's Addiction and the Red Hot Chili Peppers, was born in Santa Monica, California.
1974:  T-Low of Next ("Too Close") 

John Mayer's "3 x 5", the Featured Unknown/Underrated Song of the Week by John Mayer

It's one thing to read about something in a book or see it on the internet.  It's quite another to witness it firsthand.  Which is what this great track is about.  It's the featured song on the blog's Unknown/Underrated category:


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4pDiBno4ZfQ

Sunday, June 5, 2011

The Top 100 Albums of All-Time in the Rock Era

This summer, we are featuring the Top 100 Albums of the Rock Era*.  We began May 1, and are featuring one album per day.  Here is the list so far:

#100--Tusk, by Fleetwood Mac
#99--Millennium, by the Backstreet Boys
#98--Physical Graffiti, by Led Zeppelin
#97--Learning to Crawl, by the Pretenders
#96--Brothers in Arms, by Dire Straits
#95--II, by Boyz II Men
#94--A Song For You, by the Carpenters
#93--Spice, by the Spice Girls
#92--The End of the Innocence, by Don Henley
#91--Rhythm Nation 1814, by Janet Jackson
#90--Back in the High Life, by Steve Winwood
#89--Whitney, by Whitney Houston
#88--Rubber Soul, by the Beatles
#87--Double Vision, by Foreigner
#86--Heart in Motion, by Amy Grant
#85--Captain Fantastic and the Brown Dirt Cowboy, by Elton John
#84--Silk Degrees, by Boz Scaggs
#83--Guilty, by Barbra Streisand
#82--Cracked Rear View, by Hootie and the Blowfish
#81--Different Light, by the Bangles
#80--Tracy Chapman, by Tracy Chapman
#79--Goodbye Yellow Brick Road, by Elton John
#78--Graceland, by Paul Simon
#77--Metallica, by Metallica
#76--Bat out of Hell, by Meat Loaf
#75--The Cars, by the Cars
#74--In Pieces, by Garth Brooks
#73--Abraxas, by Santana
#72--52nd Street, by Billy Joel

The #65 Album of All-Time in the Rock Era: Deja Vu by Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young

Here's one of those albums that seems to get better every time you listen to it, and it checks in next at #65.


Crosby, Stills and Nash teamed up for what up to that time was the most successful association formed by members of other highly-successful groups.  David Crosby was with the Byrds, Stephen Stills was with Buffalo Springfield while Graham Nash was a member of the Hollies.  For this album, Neil Young joined the trio, although he insisted on maintaining a parallel career with his band Crazy Horse.  Young was also from Buffalo Springfield when Stills was with the group.  Young has over the years joined his former mates in concert appearances but still continues his independence.


Deja Vu contains the timeless song "Teach Your Children", "Woodstock", a song written by Joni Mitchell, and "Our House", the singles released from the album.  But this is one of those great albums that you can't fully appreciate by listening to singles--it's much more than that.  The group became known for their flawless harmonies, and right out of the bat they hit you with "Carry On".  I think it's still one of their best songs. 







Deja Vu was #1 for one week.  In one of the main statistics I look at very closely, it also was #2 for four weeks and #3 for four weeks.  Nine weeks in the Top 3 is much more significant than weeks at #1.  23 weeks in the Top 10 is more significant than a #1 album for 2 weeks that is out of the Top 10 and forgotten 8 weeks later.  Deja Vu also spent 97 weeks on the album chart and has sold 7 million copies to date.  It has an excellent Track Record* of 9.05.  That said, I'm going to be honest.  People have sent messages wondering what my choices for the Top 100 are.  I prefer the debut album by Crosby, Stills & Nash.  If this one is in the Top 100, and it probably deserves it, the first one should be higher.  But I'm not choosing the Top 100 Albums of All-Time*--the public did.  In any case, keep the album Crosby, Stills & Nash on your shopping list as well.


Deja Vu:
Side one
1.  "Carry On" (Stephen Stills) --4:26
2.  "Teach Your Children" (Graham Nash) --2:53
3.  "Almost Cut My Hair" (David Crosby) --4:31
4.  "Helpless" (Neil Young) --3:33
5.  "Woodstock" (Joni Mitchell) --3:54


Side two
1.  "Deja Vu" (Crosby) --4:12
2.  "Our House" (Nash) --2:59
3.  "4 + 20" (Stills) --2:04
4.  "Country Girl" ("Whiskey Boot Hill", "Down, Down, Down" and "Country Girl (I Think You're Pretty)") (Young) --5:11
5.  "Everybody I Love You" (Stills, Young) --2:21



Crosby played rhythm guitar, Stephen Stills played guitar, bas and keyboards, Nash played rhythm guitar and keyboards and Young played guitar, keyboards and harmonica.  Jerry Garcia of the Grateful Dead played pedal steel guitar on "Teach Your Children", John Sebastian of Lovin' Spoonful played harmonica on the title track, and CSNY got additional help from Dallas Taylor on drums and percussion and from Greg Reeves on bass. 
 
Deja Vu was recorded from July through December of 1969 at Wally Heider's Studio C in San Francisco and Heider's Studio III on Los Angeles.  CSNY produced their own album with Bill Halverson doing the engineering.  Gary Burden was the art designer.  The finished product was released March 11, 1970 on Atlantic Records.
Deja Vu is #65 All-Time.

This Date in Rock Music History: June 6

1960:  Tony Williams left the Platters to pursue a solo career.




1960:  Roy Orbison released the single "Only the Lonely".
1960:  The Silver Beatles and Gerry and the Pacemakers performed at the Grosvenor Ballroom in Liscard, Lancashire, England.
1962:  The Beatles auditioned for producer George Martin of EMI Records, playing "Love Me Do" and "Ask Me Why".

1964:  "Chapel of Love" moved into the #1 position for the Dixie Cups.  The Beatles were knocked off with "Love Me Do" while Mary Wells' former #1 "My Guy" remained in the #3 spot.  The Ray Charles Singers were there with "Love Me With All Your Heart" while Louis Armstrong made it four #1 songs in the Top 5 on this date, creating a logjam.  The rest of the Top 10:  "A World Without Love" from Peter & Gordon, Dionne Warwick rose from 10-7 with "Walk on By", "Little Children" from Billy J. Kramer, the Reflections fell with "(Just Like) Romeo & Juliet" and the Beatles added another Top 10 with "P.S. I Love You".
1965:  Herman's Hermits performed on The Ed Sullivan Show.

1966:  The Beatles released the single "Paperback Writer".







1968:  The Rolling Stones added new lyrics to their upcoming song "Sympathy for the Devil" following the assassination of Robert Kennedy.
1969:  Rod Stewart signed a solo recording contract with Mercury Records.
1970:  Christie had a #1 song in the U.K. with "Yellow River".
1970:  The Jackson 5 had another smash as "The Love You Save" vaulted from #45 to #15.
1970:  The album McCartney remained at #1 while the Beatles last studio album Let It Be rose from #104 to #2.

1971:  The final episode of The Ed Sullivan Show aired on television.  One of the most popular shows for 23 years (1948-1971) and 1,059 episodes, it was canceled.  Gladys Knight & the Pips were Ed's guests that night.
1975:  Pink Floyd performed in America but did not fare well after Roger Waters spat on the audience.

1977:  The Emotions released the single "Best of My Love".
1977:  Queen appeared at Earl's Court in London.
1977:  Stevie Wonder gave an unannounced lecture to a UCLA class that was studying the record industry.  He also performed for the shocked but happy students.
1979:  Def Leppard appeared in concert at Crookes Workingman's Club in Sheffield, England, leading to a recording contract with Phonogram Records.

1981:  Champaign had the #1 Adult Contemporary song for a second week with "How 'Bout Us".
1981:  Kim Carnes continued to hold off everyone at #1 for the fourth week with "Bette Davis Eyes".  
1982:  Stevie Wonder, Linda Ronstadt, Tom Petty, Stevie Nicks, Bob Dylan, Crosby, Stills & Nash, Jackson Browne and Bonnie Raitt played at the Peace Sunday:  We Have a Dream concert for nuclear disarmament before 85,000 at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, California.
1986:  Bob Dylan performed at the Amnesty International concert at the Forum in Los Angeles.
1986:  Genesis released their great album Invisible Touch.
1987:  Simple Minds had the top U.K. album with Live in the City of Light.

1987:  Kim Wilde became the third artist to score a big hit with "You Keep Me Hangin' On" hitting #1, following the original by the Supremes and the remake from Vanilla Fudge.  Atlantic Starr closed with "Always" while Lisa Lisa & Cult Jam were right behind with "Head to Toe".  Chris DeBurgh's memorable song "The Lady in Red" dropped to #4.  The rest of the Top 10:  previous #1 "With or Without You" from U2, Genesis scored their fifth Top 10 in a row and 17th overall hit with "In Too Deep", Bon Jovi moved up with "Wanted Dead or Alive", Fleetwood Mac's "Big Love", Herb Alpert made a comeback with "Diamonds" and Whitney Houston bounced into the Top 10 after just four weeks with "I Wanna' Dance With Somebody".
1987:  The Joshua Tree by U2 remained as the #1 album.

1988:  Steve Winwood released the single "Roll With It".






1991:  Stan Getz, the great saxophonist who teamed with Joao Gilberto for the classic album Getz/Gilberto died of liver cancer in Malibu, California at the age of 64.
1992:  David Bowie married Iman in Florence, Italy.





1992:  Celine Dion had her third Top 10 song as "If You Asked Me To" moved from 12 to 9 on this date.
1996:  William Palmer, inventor of the magnetic tape recorder, passed away.
1997:  When Phil Collins left for a highly successful solo career, Genesis announced that they were replacing him with Ray Wilson, formerly of Stiltskin.
1998:  In the U.K., B"Witched debuted at #1 with "C'est La Vie".

1998:  Brandy & Monica rose to #1 for the first of what would be 12 weeks at the top with "The Boy Is Mine".
1999:  The Backstreet Boys had the #1 album with Millennium, which is the #99 Album of All-Time in the Rock Era*.
2002:  It can happen to the best of people.  The best people will admit they have a problem and seek help.  On this date, Diana Ross entered a drug and alcohol rehabilitation center in Malibu, California.
2003:  The Eagles were in concert at the Savvis Center in St. Louis, Missouri.

2003:  Dave Rowberry, who gave us one of the most memorable keyboard solos of the Rock Era on the Animals song "House of the Rising Sun", was found dead in his home in East London.  Rowberry was 62.
2004:  Metallica played without drummer Lars Ulrich, who had to miss a show.  Joey Jordison of Slipknot and Dave Lombardo from Slayer fill in at the Download Festival in England's Donington Park.
2004:  Performers at Eric Clapton's Crossroads Festival in Dallas, Texas included Santana, ZZ Top, James Taylor, John Mayer and host Clapton.
2004:  Mario Winans led the way on the U.K. singles chart with "I Don't Wanna' Know".
2004:  Avril Lavigne had her second #1 album with Under My Skin.

2006:  Keyboard whiz Billy Preston died from kidney failure at the age of 59.
2010:  Marvin Isley, bass guitarist of the Isley Brothers, died at the age of 56.  He had stopped performing in 1996 due to problems with diabetes, which had robbed him of the use of his legs.


Born This Day:

1936:  Levi Stubbs, one of the great lead singers of the Rock Era for the Four Tops, was born in Detroit, Michigan.
1939:  Gary "U.S." Bonds (Gary Anderson) was born in Jacksonville, Florida.
1942:  Howie Kane of Jay and the Americans
1944:  Peter Albin of Big Brother and the Holding Company was born in San Francisco, California.
1947:  Terry Williams of the New Christy Minstrels and the First Edition, was born in Hollywood, California.
1947:  Tony Williams, drummer of Dire Straits, was born in Hollywood, California.
1951:  Dwight Twilley ("I'm on Fire" in 1975) was born in Tulsa, Oklahoma.

1960:  Elite guitarist Steve Vai, who played with Frank Zappa, David Lee Roth and Whitesnake, was born in Long Island, New York.
1961:  Terri Nunn, lead singer of Berlin ("No More Words" and "Take My Breath Away"), was born in Los Angeles, California.
1961: Tom Araya, bassist and vocalist of Slayer, was born in ViƱa del Mar, Chile.
1970: James Shaffer, guitarist of Korn, was born in Rosedale, California.
1974:  Uncle Kracker (real name Matthew Shafer) was born in Mount Clemens, Michigan.