Saturday, July 2, 2011

This Date in Rock Music History: July 3

1965:  Cher had her first solo hit debut on the chart as "All I Really Want To Do" made the list.
1965:  Elvis reigned at #1 on the Easy Listening chart for the seventh week with "Crying In The Chapel".

1965:  The Four Tops first rose to #1 on this date with "I Can't Help Myself".  It was a great Top 10 with the Rolling Stones' "Satisfaction" rising to #2 while "Mr. Tambourine Man" from the Byrds fell from #1 to #3.  Sam the Sham & the Pharaohs were at 4 with "Wooly Bully", Herman's Hermits stayed at 5 with "Wonderful World" and the Yardbirds edged up with "For Your Love".  The Rest of the Top 10:  Johnny Rivers with "Seventh Son", Elvis at #8 with "Crying In The Chapel", Barbara Mason entered the Top 10 with "Yes, I'm Ready" and Jackie DeShannon posted the first Top 10 of her career with "What the World Needs Now Is Love".
1966:  The Grateful Dead played the Fillmore Auditorium in San Francisco.
1969:  Brian Jones, the former member of the Rolling Stones who quit the group, was found dead in his swimming pool at his home in Hartfield, East Sussex, England.
1969:  Led Zeppelin, Blood, Sweat & Tears, James Brown and Johnny Winter performed at the Newport Jazz Festival in Rhode Island.
1970:  The Allman Brothers, B.B. King, Procol Harum, John Sebastian and Mountain performed on the opening night of the Atlanta Pop Festival in Atlanta, Georgia.  (Note:  some websites claim Jethro Tull and Jimi Hendrix performed at the Festival on this date.  As you can see from the program above, Jethro Tull and Hendrix both performed on Saturday, which was July 4 in 1970.)
1971:  A group with a great brass sound debuted with their first hit song as Earth, Wind & Fire hit the chart with "Love Is Life".
1971:  "Mr. Big Stuff" became the #1 on the R&B chart for Jean Knight.
1971:  The Bee Gees had a smash with "How Can You Mend a Broken Heart", which moved from 73 to 39.

                                 A powerful song from Paul Revere & the Raiders...

1971:  Stanley, Idaho's Carole King remained at #1 with "It's Too Late".  Paul Revere & the Raiders, from Boise, Idaho, were at #2 with "Indian Reservation" while Cornelius Brothers & Sister Rose moved up to 3 with "Treat Her Like A Lady".  The Carpenters fell after peaking at #2 with "Rainy Days And Mondays" and Hamilton, Joe Frank & Reynolds were at #5 with "Don't Pull Your Love".  The rest of the Top 10:  "Want Ads" from the Honey Cone, the Rolling Stones slipped to #7 with "Brown Sugar", James Taylor climbed up from 14 to 8 with "You've Got A Friend", Jerry Reed stayed at position #9 with "When You're Hot, You're Hot" and Ringo Starr fell to #10 with "It Don't Come Easy".

1971:  Jim Morrison of the Doors died of heart failure (no autopsy performed) in his bathtub in Paris, France at the age of 27.
1973:  Laurens Hammond, who invented the Hammond organ, died at the age of 78.  (Note:  some websites falsely say he died on July 1.  Laurens died on July 3, according to the official website for the Hammond organ.)

1974:  The Tony Orlando Show debuted on CBS-TV. (Note: some websites report the show debuted on July 4. The correct opening date is July 3, according to the newspaper 'The New York Times'.)

1975:  Chuck Negron, formerly with Three Dog Night, was arrested for cocaine possession in Louisville, Kentucky.

1976:  It was a solid time for music in the Summer of 1976--Wings held down #1 for the fourth week with "Silly Love Songs" with newcomer Starland Vocal Band moving from 7 to 2 with "Afternoon Delight".  Dorothy Moore remained at #3 with "Misty Blue", Hall & Oates stayed at 4 with "Sara Smile" and the Captain & Tennille were next with "Shop Around".  The rest of the Top 10:  Andrea True Connection with "More, More, More", Silver Convention fell after three weeks at #2 with "Get Up And Boogie", the Brothers Johnson had a great summer hit with "I'll Be Good To You" at #8, the Manhattans were at #9 with "Kiss And Say Goodbye" while Gary Wright scored his second Top 10 with "Love Is Alive".

1978:  Two great songs were released on this date, a Monday, the day new releases hit radio stations.  Olivia Newton-John released "Hopelessly Devoted To You" from Grease.  (Note:  one naive website claims the song was released September 18.  "Hopelessly Devoted To You" debuted on the Singles chart on July 8.  It is physically impossible for a song to be included on the Singles chart if it has not been released as a single.)

1978:  Exile released their classic single "Kiss You All Over".

1983:  Michael Jackson released "Human Nature" as a single.

1982:  Nobody quite knew what to make of him when he started out, but now, everyone pretty much loves him.  Billy Idol first hit the chart on this date when one of the most Underrated Songs of the Rock Era*, "Hot In The City" debuted.
1982:  Crosby, Stills & Nash had a fast-rising song as "Wasted On The Way" moved from 48 to 29.

                              38 Special had themselves a Top 10 hit...

1982:  The Human League rose to #1 with "Don't You Want Me" but Toto's "Rosanna" threatened.  Paul McCartney & Stevie Wonder finally fell from their perch after seven weeks with "Ebony And Ivory".  Asia's premiere 45 was "Heat Of The Moment" while John Cougar hit #5 with "Hurts So Good".  The rest of the Top 10:  Willie Nelson edged up with "Always On My Mind", Dazz Band with "Let It Whip", Juice Newton was at #8 with "Love's Been A Little Bit Hard On Me", Survivor shot up from 19 to 9 with "Eye Of The Tiger" and 38 Special reached the Top 10 with "Caught Up In You".

1988:  George Michael released the fifth single from Faith, "Monkey".

1993:  Kenny G & Peabo Bryson combined talents for the song that hit #1 on the Adult Contemporary chart--"By The Time This Night Is Over".
1993:  Janet Jackson remained at #1 for the eighth week with "That's the Way Love Goes" as there was nothing good enough to knock her off. I offer up "Knockin' Da Boots" by H-Town, "Whoomp!  (There It Is)" by the Tag Team and "Dre Day" by Dr. Dre" as examples of the weakness.  You always want to consider competition when analyzing #1 songs and Janet certainly did not have it.
 2000:  James Brown was accused of pulling a knife on a utility worker and holding the man against his will at Brown's home in Beech Island, South Carolina.
2003:  Incubus, Jane's Addiction and Audioslave performed at the Ionia County Fairgrounds in Grand Rapids, Michigan as the Lollapalooza Festival got underway.  (Note:  some websites claim the groups performed July 2.  The Lollapalooza kicked off July 3, according to 'Billboard' magazine.)  
2005:  In our segment of Inmates Run Rap Music, Lil' Kim was released from jail after serving 10 months for perjury.

Born This Day:
1929:  David Lynch of the Platters was born in St. Louis, Missouri; died of cancer January 2, 1981 at the Veterans Administration Hospital in Manhattan.
1930:  Tommy Tedesco, a prolific session guitarist who recorded with the Beach Boys, the Supremes, Barbra Streisand, Cher, Frank Sinatra, the Association, Everly Brothers and the Monkees to name a few, was born in Niagara Falls, New York; died November 10, 1997 from lung cancer in Northridge, California.
1940:  Fontella Bass ("Rescue Me"), who worked with Minnie Riperton, Maurice White and Little Milton, was born in St. Louis, Missouri; died December 26, 2012 in St. Louis of complications from a heart attack.
1943:  Judith Durham of the Seekers was born in Essendon, Victoria, Australia.
1948:  Paul Barrere, guitarist with Little Feat, was born in Burbank, California.
1949:  Johnnie Wilder, co-founder and lead vocalist with Heatwave, was born in Dayton, Ohio; died in his sleep May 13, 2006 from complications of paralysis caused when a van broadsided his car in 1979.
1949:  John Verity, guitarist of Argent, was born in Bradford, West Riding of Yorkshire, England.  (Note:  some naive websites report Verity was born in Bradford, West Yorkshire.  West Yorkshire did not become the name of the county until 1974, 25 years after Verity was born.)
1950:  Damon Harris of the Temptations was born in Baltimore, Maryland; died February 18, 2013 from prostate cancer in Baltimore.
1951:  Mike Corby, songwriter, guitarist and keyboardist of the Babys, was born in Windsor, Berkshire, England.
1952:  Andy Fraser, co-founder, co-writer of "All Right Now" and bassist of Free, was born in Paddington, Middlesex, England; died March 16, 2015 in Temecula, California of unspecified causes, but he was known to be suffering from both cancer and AIDS.  (Note:  some naive websites say Fraser was born in Paddington, London, England or Westminster, England.  While Paddington today is an area located in Westminster in the Greater London county, the change did not occur until 1965.  In 1952, when Fraser was born, Paddington was a metropolitan borough located in the county of Middlesex.)
1956:  Stephen Pearcy, lead singer of Ratt, was born in San Diego, California.

1952:  Laura Branigan was born in Mount Kisco, New York; died August 26, 2004 at her home in East Quoque, New York of a brain aneurysm. (Note: nearly every website, including the credible sources 'The New York Times' newspaper and 'Billboard' magazine, state that Branigan was born in 1957 and that she was born in Brewster, New York. Some websites report she was born in Armonk, New York.  After extensive research, 'Inside The Rock Era' has determined that the discrepancy comes from Branigan herself, who always said she was born in 1957 so that she would appear "younger" to her fans. Neither Branigan herself nor her two surviving brothers have ever corrected the error to this date. However, we contacted Laura's school, Byram Hills High School in Armonk, New York, and they confirmed that Laura in fact was born in 1952, not in 1957.  And, while Branigan indeed lived in Armonk, she was born in Mount Kisco.)
1960:  Vince Clarke, who wrote songs for Depeche Mode, Yaz and Erasure, was born in South Woodford, Essex, England.  (Note:  some websites report Clarke was born in Basildon, England while some naively say he was born in South Woodford, London.  He later moved to Basildon with his family, but he was born in South Woodford, according to 'Billboard'.  South Woodford became part of the county of London in 1965, which was five years after his birth.  In 1960, South Woodford was located in the county of Essex.)
1969:  Kevin Hearn, keyboardist of Barenaked Ladies, was born in Grimsby, Ontario, Canada.
1975:  Javier Weyler, drummer of the Stereophonics, was born in Buenos Aires, Argentina.

Featured Unknown/Underrated Song: "The Windmills of Your Mind"

Dusty Springfield was one of the top performers of the 1960's and is one of the Top 100 Female Artists of the Rock Era*.  She gave us great songs like "I Only Want To Be with You", 'You Don't Have To Say You Love Me", "Wishin' and Hopin'", "Son of a Preacher Man" and "The Look of Love".

Even though this song was recognized by winning an Oscar as the Best Original Song (in the original "The Thomas Crown Affair" starring Steve McQueen and Faye Dunaway) , the movie version featured Noel Harrison and thus Springfield's remake deserves special mention in the Unknown/Underrated Feature because it only reached #31.

Sting also did a wonderful remake of the song that was used in the classic remake of "The Thomas Crown Affair" starring Pierce Brosnan and Rene Russo.

The #39 Album of All-Time in the Rock Era--"The Long Run" by the Eagles

Eagles fans were sad to hear of the breakup of the group in 1980 (thankfully, they are back together), not only because of the news itself but because they were coming off what many people thought was the best album of their career.  The Eagles land at #39 with that album.

The Long Run was just the sixth studio album from the group.  That in itself is hard to believe, given the dozens of great songs that the group has put out.  This album had a tremendous debut at #2 (at that time, unlike now, it was very difficult to debut in the Top 10 and at the time, you could count on two hands the number that had achieved the feat). and took over #1 the following week from Led Zeppelin's In Through the Out Door, which we already celebrated being in the Top 100 Albums*.  The Eagles stayed at #1 for nine weeks; it also was #2 for four more and #3 for two.  The Long Run spent 21 weeks in the Top 10 and 57 on the chart.  That is only part of the story.  Due to the singles from the album, this album got tremendous airplay and as time went on, more quality tracks from the album got exposure.  Thus, the album continues to sell well to this day, long after it left the "chart".  The Long Run is now up to seven million in sales and sports an excellent Track Record* of 9.2

Founding member Randy Meisner decided to go solo, but Timothy B. Schmit was brought in and the Eagles didn't miss a beat.  "Heartache Tonight" was a #1 single, and the title track and "I Can't Tell You Why" both were Top 10.  As has been the case with the other great albums, this album is far more than hits.  "In the City", which guitarist Joe Walsh first wrote for the movie "The Warriors", was recorded by the group and included on the album.  It is one of the Eagles' most popular songs, despite not being released as a single.  "The Sad Cafe" got enough airplay that it might as well have been a single--it features great lyrics as usual from Don Henley.  "King of Hollywood" is another of those, and "Those Shoes" and "The Greeks Don't Want No Freaks" all received great airplay.  The entire album can be tracked through, but those are the tracks I want to highlight.

The Eagles won a Grammy for Best Performance by a Group With Vocal ("Heartache Tonight") and captured the prestigious title of Favorite Rock Group at the American Music Awards. 

The Long Run:

Side one
1.  "The Long Run" (Don Henley, Glenn Frey) --3:42
2.  "I Can't Tell You Why" (Timothy B. Schmit, Henley, Frey) --4:56
3.  "I the City" (Joe Walsh, Barry DeVorzon) --3:46
4.  "The Disco Strangler" (Don Felder, Henley, Frey) --2:46
5.  "King of Hollywood" (Henley, Frey) --6:28

Side two
1.  "Heartache Tonight" (Henley, Frey, Bob Seger, J.D. Souther) --4:27
2.  "Those Shoes" (Felder, Henley, Frey) --4:57
3.  "Teenage Jail" (Henley, Frey, Souther) --3:44
4.  "The Greeks Don't Want No Freaks (Henley, Frey) --2:21
5.  "The Sad Cafe" (Henley, Frey, Walsh, Souther: --5:35

The Eagles responsible for this tremendous album were:  Don Felder on electric guitar, talk box guitar, acoustic guitar, slide guitar, organ and vocals, Glenn Frey on electric guitar, synthesizer, keyboards and vocals, Don Henley on drums, percussion and vocals, Timothy B. Schmit on bass guitar and vocals and Joe Walsh on electric guitars, talk box guitar, slide guitar, keyboards, organ and vocals.  You'll notice that all members sang and that was very important to the success of the group in providing some of the top harmonies in the Rock Era. 

Jimmy Buffett and "The Monstertones" provided backing vocals on "The Greeks Don't Want No Freaks", the great David Sanborn played alto saxophone and Bob Seger, who co-wrote "Heartache Tonight", also sang backing vocals on the song.

The Long Run was recorded between March of 1978 and September 1979 at Bayshore Recording Studio in Coconut Grove, Florida, and One Step Up Recording Studio, Britannia Recording Studio, Love 'n' Comfort Recording Studio and Record Plant Studios in Los Angeles.  All members of the group participated in the production of the album with their longtime producer Bill Szymczyk, Szymczyk and Ed Mashal were the engineers and Ted Jensen mastered the album.  Kosh handled the art direction for The Long Run and Jim Shea provided the photography.  The album was released September 24, 1979 on Asylum Records.

The Eagles come in at #39 All-Time with The Long Run.

Friday, July 1, 2011

This Date in Rock Music History: July 2

1956:  Another of the famous days in the Rock Era as Elvis Presley went into the recording studio and recorded "Hound Dog" and "Don't Be Cruel" at RCA Studios in New York City on this date.
1956:  Buddy Holly released his first solo single "Love Me" on Decca Records.

1957:  A new crooner released his first single--Paul Anka's "Diana" was released as a 45 to radio stations.
1958:  Paramount Pictures released the movie King Creole starring Elvis Presley.
1962:  Jimi Hendrix was honorably discharged from the 101st Airborne Paratroopers.
1965:  The Beach Boys and Sam the Sham were in concert at the Community Concourse in San Diego, California.
1966:  Frank Sinatra moved to #1 with "Strangers In The Night", taking over from the Beatles' "Paperback Writer".  Tommy James & the Shondells moved from 15-6 with "Hanky Panky".

1966.  The #1 album was What Now My Love by Herb Alpert & the Tijuana Brass with If You Can Believe Your Eyes and Ears by the Mamas and the Papas at #2.  Whipped Cream & Other Delights by Herb Alpert and the Brass was still hanging around after 59 weeks.  The Soundtrack to "Doctor Zhivago" was #4 and the album that would eventually set the Rock Era record for weeks in the Top 10 with an incredible 109--the great Soundtrack to "The Sound of Music" was #5 after 67 weeks.  The rest of the Top 10:  The Shadow of Your Smile from Andy Williams, Going Places by Herb Alpert and the Tijuana Brass, Big Hits (High Tide and Green Grass) from the Rolling Stones, The Shadow of Your Smile by Johnny Mathis and Lou Rawls Live! moving from 20-10.
1967:  Cream, Jeff Beck and John Mayall were in concert at the Saville Theatre in London.
1969:  Drummer Mitch Mitchel and bass guitarist Noel Redding both quit the Jimi Hendrix Experience.
1969:  Vocalist and guitarist Leslie West and bassist Felix Pappalardi formed the group Mountain.
1969:  The Beatles (minus John Lennon who was in a Scottish hospital following an automobile accident) recorded "Her Majesty" and "Golden Slumbers/Carry That Weight" at Abbey Road Studios in London for the upcoming White Album.

1969:  Thunderclap Newman had the top U.K. song with "Something In The Air".
1971:  Queen, with the lineup of Freddie Mercury, Brian May, Roger Taylor and John Deacon for the first time, performed at Surrey College in England.
1973:  Brian Eno announced he was leaving Roxy Music.
1976:  Brian Wilson appeared live with the Beach Boys for the first time in 12 years.
1977:  The Soundtrack to "A Star Is Born" was the #1 album in the U.K.       

                                                 Alan O'Day was up to #2...

1977:  Although it isn't the best version of the song, Bill Conti was at #1 with "Gonna' Fly Now", the theme from "Rocky".  "Undercover Angel" by Alan O'Day was at #2 and Marvin Gaye's former #1 "Got To Give It Up" fell to 3.  Shaun Cassidy had his remake of "Da Doo Ron Ron" at #4 while Barry Manilow moved from 13-5 with his eighth hit in three years.  The rest of the Top 10:  Fleetwood Mac and "Dreams", Andy Gibb moved from 15 to 7 with "I Just Want To Be Your Everything", Hot was at 8 with "Angel In Your Arms", the Steve Miller Band moved up to 9 with "Jet Airliner" (and any decent radio station will always play "Threshold" before it) while Jimmy Buffett scored a Top 10 hit with "Margaritaville".
1977:  "It's Sad To Belong" by England Dan & John Ford Coley was #1 on the Adult chart for a second week. 
1977:  The Emotions held on to #1 on the R&B chart for a second week with "Best Of My Love".

1979:  Abba released the single "Voulez Vous".

1979:  Neil Young released the album Rust Never Sleeps(Note:  some websites claim the album was released July 11.  The correct date is July 2, according to the Canadian Music Hall of Fame.)
1980:  Bob Weir and Mickey Hart of the Grateful Dead were arrested for starting a riot at the San Diego Sports Arena during a Dead concert.
1980:  Sheena Easton was featured on the BBC-TV show Big Time, following her as she recorded "Morning Train" and showing how a new artist was marketed.
1981:  Bruce Springsteen opened the new Brendan Byrne Meadowlands Arena in New Jersey, playing before 21,000 fans.

1983:  "Never Gonna' Let You Go" was #1 for Sergio Mendes on the AC chart for the third week.
1983:  Rod Stewart's "Baby Jane" led the way on the U.K. chart.

1983:  "Flashdance" by Irene Cara was #1 for a sixth consecutive week.  Eddy Grant was at #2 with "Electric Avenue" while the Police were honing in on the top with "Every Breath You Take".  Culture Club had #4--"Time (Clock of the Heart)" and Sergio Mendes was at 5 with "Never Gonna' Let You Go".  The rest of the Top 10:  Styx with "Don't Let It End", Kajagoogoo moved up to #7 with "Too Shy", Hall & Oates had #8 with "Family Man", Michael Jackson had another Top 10 from Thriller with "Wanna' Be Startin' Something'" and the Tubes registered the only Top 10 of their career with "She's A Beauty". 
1984:  Cyndi Lauper released the single "She Bop".
1986:  Bob Dylan and the Grateful Dead appeared together at the Rubber Bowl in Akron, Ohio.
1986:  Prince's new movie Under the Cherry Moon was released to theaters.  (Note:  some websites claim the movie was released July 4.  According to the newspaper 'The New York Times' and the book 'Prince:  Chaos, Disorder, and Revolution' by Jason Draper, the movie was released July 2.) 

1988:  Michael Jackson posted a record-breaking fourth #1 from the album Bad as "Dirty Diana" reached the top.  It was Jackson's 28th solo hit, 20th Top 10 and 11th #1 song.  Add in his work with the Jackson 5 and the totals were:  57 hits, 30 Top 10's and 15 #1's.
1991:  And then there's Guns N' Roses.  At a concert of theirs at the Riverport Amphitheatre in Maryland Heights, Missouri, lead singer Axl Rose jumped into the audience and tackled a fan who was taking pictures of the show.  Rose took the camera, hit several members of the audience and the security team and when his group members pulled him back on stage, Rose slammed his microphone on the ground and left the stage.  Angry fans began to riot, causing injury to dozens of people.  Rose was charged with inciting the riot.
1992:  Mick Jagger became a grandfather as daughter Jade gave birth to a baby girl.
1994:  Janet Jackson remained at #1 for the fourth week on the R&B chart with "Any Time, Any Place".

1994:  All-4-One spent a seventh week at #1 with "I Swear". 
1997:  Bruce Springsteen won Sweden's Polar Music Prize, donating the cash portion of the award to a Swedish school program that keeps teenagers off the streets.
2000:  Richard Ashcroft had the top U.K. album with Alone With Everybody.

2001:  Liverpool Airport at Speke was renamed John Lennon Airport.
2003:  Beyonce had the #1 album with her first solo release Dangerously in Love.
2005:  Live 8  Concerts in 10 cities, including London, Philadelphia, Paris, Berlin, Moscow, Rome and Johannesburg, featured some of the top stars in the world in an effort to pressure the G8 nations to fight poverty in Africa.   Crowds of hundreds of thousands and a television audience of several hundred million watched the performances.  Paul McCartney, Stevie Wonder, U2, Madonna, The Who, Bryan Adams, Sting, Bon Jovi, Pink Floyd, Green Day, the Dave Matthews Band, Destiny's Child, Neil Young, Coldplay, the Pet Shop Boys, the Cure, Shakira, Maroon 5 and Jay-Z were among the performers.
2006:  The Who performed at the first Hyde Park Calling Festival in London.  (Note:  some websites falsely say the Who performed on July 1.  They performed on the second and final day of the festival, July 2.)
2006:  Lostprophets reached #1 on the U.K. Album chart with Liberation Transmission.
2007:  Hy Zaret, who co-wrote "Unchained Melody", died at the age of 99 (50 days shy of his 100th birthday) in Westport, Connecticut.  
2009:  The Eagles were in concert in the RDS Arena in Dublin, Ireland.

Born This Day:
1925:  Marvin Rainwater ("Gonna' Find Me A Bluebird" from 1957) was born in Wichita, Kansas; died September 17, 2013 of heart failure in Minneapolis, Minnesota..
1926:  Lee Allen, who played saxophone with Fats Domino, Little Richard and Shirley & Lee, was born in Pittsburg, Kansas; died October 18, 1994 in Hawthorne, California.
1936:  Tom Springfield of the Springfields ("Silver Threads And Golden Needles") and brother of Dusty Springfield, was born in Hampstead, London England.
1940:  Paul Williams of the Temptations was born in Birmingham, Alabama; died after shooting himself August 17, 1983 in Detroit, Michigan.

1941:  Charlie Watts, drummer of the Rolling Stones, was born in Islington, London, England.
1941:  William Guest of Gladys Knight & the Pips, who was later the CEO of Crew Records, was born July 2 in Atlanta Georgia; died December 24, 2015 of congestive heart failure in Detroit, Michigan.
1922:  Leapy Lee (real name Lee Graham, who sang "Little Arrows" in 1968), was born in Eastbourne, East Sussex, England.
1949:  Roy Bittan, piano player in Bruce Springsteen's E Street Band, was born in Queens, New York.  (Note:  several websites report he was born in Rockaway Beach, Queens, New York.  Rockaway Beach is a neighborhood, not a city, and you will never see it listed on Roy's official birth certificate.)
1950:  Duncan Mackay, keyboard player with Cockney Rebel, was born in Leeds, West Riding of Yorkshire, England.  (Note:  several websites naively say Mackay was born in Leeds, West Yorkshire, England.  Leeds was historically in the county of West Riding of Yorkshire until 1974, when the county was named West Yorkshire.  Given that Duncan was born 24 years before the name change, it is physically impossible for him to have been born in the county of West Yorkshire and you will never see it listed as his County of Birth on his official birth certificate.)
1952:  Johnny Colla of Huey Lewis and the News was born in Sacramento, California.
1954:  Pete Briquette (Patrick Andrew Cusack), songwriter and bassist of the Boomtown Rats, was born in Ballyjamesduff, County Cavan, Ireland.
1956:  Jeffrey Cooper, guitarist of Midnight Star
1957:  Mike Anger of the Blow Monkeys ("Diggin' Your Scene")
1961:  Paul Geary, drummer for Extreme, was born in Medford, Massachusetts.
1965:  Dave Parsons, bass guitarist of Bush, was born in Hillingdon, London.  (Note:  some websites naively say Parsons was born in Hillingdon, Middlesex, England.  Hillingdon was a part of the county of Middlesex until 1963, when it became under the jurisdiction of the county of London.  As Parsons was born two years after the change, it is physically impossible for him to have been born in the county of London.)
1974:  Rocky Gray, drummer of Evanescence, was born in Jacksonville, Arkansas.

1983:  Michelle Branch was born in Sedona, Arizona.  (Note:  various sites claim she was born in Sedona, Phoenix and Flagstaff, all in Arizona.  According to her official websites, Michelle was born in Sedona.)

The #40 Album of All-Time in the Rock Era: "II" by Led Zeppelin

Inside the Rock Era is featuring one album per day from the list of The Top 100 Albums of All-Time in the Rock Era*.  Back when I saluted Houses of the Holy, I said there were better albums by Led Zeppelin.  Here is one of them.  Today, it's #40, from Led Zeppelin.

Led Zeppelin was honing not only their songwriting ability but their musicianship at this point.  I think this is where Jimmy Page became an elite guitarist, and of course he just got better from here.  But from the group's standpoint, both Page and Robert Plant really elevated their songwriting ability as well.  The songs from Plant had more meaning as he began to explore his interests and inspirations.  And the music from Page was markedly better than their debut album.  It wasn't the peak from the supergroup but it was getting there.

Led Zeppelin's second album (II) reached #1 for seven weeks, and hung around the top spot with 11 weeks at #2 and two at #3.  It spent 24 weeks inside the Top 10 and 98 on the album chart.  Those are solid numbers, but the album went one step further--It had advance orders of 400,000, almost unheard of for a second album.  Twice, the album knocked Abbey Road by the Beatles out of the top spot.  Today, the number has topped 12 million.  In other words, the album didn't stop selling just because it wasn't current any longer.  It has a Track Rating* of 8.89, not among the best but certainly not the worst of the 100 either.  The album also reached #1 in the U.K., Spain, Germany, Canada and Australia, a fact that could push it higher when Inside the Rock Era presents The Top 100 Albums in the World* a bit later this year.

Led Zeppelin II was written and recorded during a frantic pace for the group.  Already, they were in great demand on the concert circuit and they were constantly on tour.  Songs were recorded in between concert dates and yet far from sounding rushed, the sessions had the opposite effect--they provided spontaneity.  The band's tremendous musicianship and improvisation was beginning to show.  Page's unbelievable guitar riffs (on "Whole Lotta' Love", "Heartbreaker" and "Living Loving Maid" in particular) sprung up out of nowhere.  All three of those are superb tracks.  "Ramble On" and "Bring It On Home" are other tracks that stand out but really the whole album can be tracked through, as one should expect when you get this high in The Top 100 Albums of All-Time*.  Drummer John Bonham, too, began to come into his own as evidenced by the drum solo on "Moby Dick".  

The album was nominated for a Grammy for Best Recording Package.  

Led Zeppelin II:

Side one
1.  "Whole Lotta' Love" (John Bonham, Willie Dixon, John Paul Jones, Jimmy Page and Robert Plant) --5:34
2.  "What Is and What Should Never Be" (Page, Plant) --4:47
3.  "The Lemon Song" (Page, Plant) --6:20
4.  "Thank You" --4:47

Side two
1.  "Heartbreaker" (Bonham, Jones, Page & Plant) --4:15
2.  "Living Loving Maid (She's Just a Woman)" (Page, Plant) --2:40
3.  "Ramble On" --4:35
4.  "Moby Dick" (Bonham, Jones & Page) --4:25
5.  "Bring It On Home" (Page, Plant & Dixon) --4:19

Led Zeppelin was and will always be Jimmy Page on electric and acoustic guitar, theremin and backing vocals, lead vocalist Robert Plant who also played harmonica on the album, steady drummer John Bonham (also on timpani and backing vocals) and accomplished bassist John Paul Jones.  

The album was recorded, as mentioned, in between concert dates from January to August of 1969, at Olympic and Morgan Studios in London, A&M, Quantum, Sunset, Mirror Sound and Mystic Studios in Los Angeles, Ardent Studios in Memphis, Tennessee, A&R, Juggy Sound, Groove and Mayfair Studios in New York City, and the "hut" in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.  If the studios are still in business, it's worth a visit for they are famous if for no other reason that they contributed to the sound you hear on Led Zeppelin II.

This was Led Zeppelin's first album to feature Eddie Kramer as the engineer----he also mixed the LP. Kramer of course worked with Jimi Hendrix. The humble Kramer gave all the credit to Page, who helped him mix the album, but the freshness of the album is also largely due to the considerable talent of Kramer. The two mixed the album in two crazy days at A&R Studios, in which they experimented until they achieved the perfect sound.

Peter Grant was the executive producer. George Chkiantz, Chris Huston and Andy Johns all took turns engineering but Kramer was the overseer. Bob Ludwig mastered the album and also helped with engineering.  David Juniper's album design was based on the photograph of the Jasta 11 Division of the German Air Force in World War I, the Flying Circus which was led by Manfred von Richthofen and the Red Baron.

The album was released to the public on October 22, 1969 on Atlantic Records.

The monumental Led Zeppelin II comes in at #40 All-Time.

Thursday, June 30, 2011

This Date in Rock Music History: July 1

1959:  Dave Brubeck recorded "Take Five" at the CBS Recording Studio in Manhattan, New York.
1962:  Gene Vincent and the new group the Beatles performed at the Cavern Club in Liverpool, England.
1963:  The Beatles recorded "She Loves You" and "I'll Get You" at EMI Studios in London.
1966:  Janis Joplin moved into the house owned by Big Brother & the Holding Company in Lagunitas in the San Geronimo Valley in California.  

1967:  Procol Harum had an amazing hit on their hands as "A Whiter Shade Of Pale" rocketed up from 80 to 28.

1967:  One of the great times of the Rock Era, the Summer of Love, and it was off to a great start.  The Association took over at #1 with their classic "Windy", one of The Top 100 Songs of the Rock Era*.  "Groovin'" by the Young Rascals was #2 followed by "Little Bit O' Soul" from the Music Explosion.

1967:  It was another famous date of the Rock Era as the Beatles first hit #1 on the Album chart with Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band.  After debuting at #8 (back then it was much tougher to debut in the Top 10 than it is now), the Beatles closed the deal to #1.

1968:  The Rascals released the single "People Got To Be Free" on Atlantic Records.
1968:  John Lennon unveiled a set of drawings called "You Are Here" at the Robert Fraser Gallery in London.
1969:  Sam Phillips, the genius who first recorded Elvis Presley, sold Sun Records.
1969:  John Lennon and Yoko Ono were involved in a serious car crash in the Highlands of Scotland that required John to have 17 stitches.

1972:  We didn't realize at the time how little time we had to enjoy him.  Jim Croce's first song, "You Don't Mess Around With Jim" debuted on this date.  Croce, who would soon record "Bad, Bad Leroy Brown" and "Time In A Bottle", among others, would die a little over a year later in a plane crash.
1972:  "Outa-Space" by Billy Preston was the top R&B song.
1972:  Elton John's Honky Chateau moved from 37-7 after just three weeks on the Album chart.  This was the first sign that he was becoming a megastar.
1972:  "Song Sung Blue" by Neil Diamond was #1 for a fifth week on the Adult chart.

1973:  "Song Sung Blue" became Neil Diamond's 28th hit, his seventh Top 10 song and his second #1 (following "Cracklin' Rosie") on this date.  Sammy Davis, Jr. fell with "The Candy Man" while Billy Preston's instrumental "Outa-Space" remained at 3.  The timeless "Lean On Me" from Bill Withers rose to #4 and Cornelius Brothers & Sister Rose were at 5 with "It's Too Late To Turn Back Now".  The rest of the Top 10:  Jimmy Castor Bunch with "Troglodyte", Gallery were on their way down with "Nice To Be With You", Elton John moved "Rocket Man" from 14-8, America landed in the Top 10 again with "I Need You" and Wayne Newton had a hit with "Daddy Don't You Walk So Fast".
1973:  Jesus Christ Superstar closed after 720 performances on Broadway in New York City.

1974:  Monday fell on this date, the day new 45's were released to radio stations.  Eric Clapton's "I Shot The Sheriff" was one of them.

1975:  10cc had the #1 U.K. song with "I'm Not In Love".
1975:  Connie Francis received a $2.5 million judgement against Howard Johnson's Lodges, as she was raped at a Howard Johnson's in New York two years earlier.  Francis spent the entire $2.5 million on victim's rights groups.
1977:  Pink Floyd played a sold out show in the first of four concerts at Madison Square Garden in New York City.

1978:  Joe Walsh had the fastest climber as "Life's Been Good" moved from #50 to #31.
1979:  The Doobie Brothers celebrated their 10th anniversary with a jam at Friar's Club in Los Angeles.
1981:  John Morey, bassist of Steppenwolf, died in an automobile accident in Santa Barbara, California at age 32.
1983:  The new group Bon Jovi signed a recording contract with Mercury Records.


1985:  Billy Joel released "You're Only Human".
1986:  Back when the "M" in MTV stood for music instead of mundane, the channel hosted a competition in which the winner (Lisa Barber) attended a world premiere of Prince's movie Under a Cherry Moon in Lisa's hometown of Sheridan, Wyoming.  As part of the prize, Lisa and 200 of her friends viewed a private concert by the Purple One.
1989:  R.E.M., Joe Jackson, the Robert Cray Band, Lou Reed and Elvis Costello were at the Rock Torhout Festival in Torhout, Belgium.
1989:  "Batman" by Prince was the #1 song in the U.K.  

                    The Fine Young Cannibals moved to challenge for #1...

1989:  Music fans in 1989 chose Milli Vanilli as the #1 song.  Probably the same people who like rap and can't distinguish between normal people and Dangerous Inmates (LOL).  The Fine Young Cannibals were second with "Good Thing" while the previous #1 "Satisfied" from Richard Marx fell to 3.  Neneh Cherry remained at #4 with "Buffalo Stance".  Simply Red's "If You Don't Know Me By Now" entered the Top 10 at #5.  The rest of the Top 10:  "Express Yourself" from Madonna moved from 13-6, Donna Summer was at 7 with "This Time I Know It's For Real", Cyndi Lauper moved to #8 in an active Top 10, Natalie Cole had song #9 with "Miss You Like Crazy" and New Kids on the Block tumbled to #10 with "I'll Be Loving You (Forever)". 

1991:  Michael Bolton released the single "Time, Love And Tenderness".

1991:  R.E.M. released the single "Shiny Happy People".  (Note:  one naive website claims the single was released September 3.  "Shiny Happy People" debuted on the Singles chart on July 13.  It is physically impossible for a song to be included on the Singles chart if it has not been released as a single.)
1995:  R.E.M., the Cure and the Cranberries performed at the Rock Torhout Festival in Torhout, Belgium.

1995:  Cracked Rear View by Hootie & the Blowfish, which ranks 12th in the Rock Era for the longest time to reach #1 on the Album chart, returned back to #1 after taking a week off.  The Soundtrack to "Pocahontas" was #2 followed by Pulse from Pink Floyd, which fell to #3 after just one week at the top.  TLC's CrazySexyCool was #4 and Live's great album Throwing Copper was #5.  The rest of the Top 10:  The Soundtrack to "Batman Forever" moved from 15-6, the debut from John Michael Montgomery came in seventh, Soul Asylum was at 8 with Let Your Dim Light Shine, the great second album from Boyz II Men was at 9 and another great one from Blues Traveler, four, entered the Top 10.

1995:  Wolfman Jack, one of the most famous disc jockeys of the Rock Era and host of the popular Midnight Special, died in Belvidere, North Carolina at the age of 51.
 1999:  John Popper, harmonica player of Blues Traveler, experienced chest pains and underwent angioplasty at a hospital in Los Angeles.  The band postponed concerts for a month.

1999:  Guy Mitchell, one of the early stars of the Rock Era, died in Las Vegas at the age of 72 of complications from cancer surgery.
2000:  Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band performed at Madison Square Garden in New York City.
2000:  Kylie Minogue had the top song in the U.K., with "Spinning Around", a song written by Paula Abdul.
2000:  Michael "Cub" Koda of Brownsville Station ("Smokin' In The Boys' Room" from 1973) died from kidney disease in Chelsea, Michigan at the age of 51.  (Note:  some websites mistakenly say he died June 30 while several say he died July 5.  He became seriously ill on June 30 but died July 1, according to the newspaper 'The Los Angeles Times' and 'ABC News'.)
2001:  Ron Wood of the Rolling Stones was asked to paint a group portrait of regular diners at the Ivy, a West End restaurant in London.  Elton John and Neil Tennant of the Pet Shop Boys were two of the regular customers who were to be painted.
2002:  Six stamps designed by Sir Paul McCartney went on sale in the Isle of Man--all proceeds went to the charity Adopt-A Mine field.

2003:  Herbie Mann ("Hijack") died of prostate cancer in Pecos, New Mexico at the age of 73.  (Note:  the notorious '' falsely says he died in Santa Fe, New Mexico.  According to the much more reliable newspaper 'The New York Times', he died in his cabin in Pecos.)
2004:  In today's episode of "Inmates Run Rap Music", rapper Ja Rule was arrested and changed with marijuana possession and driving with a suspended license.

2005:  Soul singer/songwriter/producer Luther Vandross died at the JFK Medical Center in Edison, New Jersey at the age of 54.  He had suffered a major stroke two years before.
2005:  Renaldo "Obie" Benson of the Four Tops died of lung cancer in Detroit, Michigan at the age of 69.
2006:  Robert Cray and Suzanne Vega performed at the inaugural Hyde Park Calling festival in London.
2006:  Busta Rhymes had the top album with Big Bang.
2008:  Rolf Harris ("Tie Me Kangaroo Down, Sport") was inducted into the Australian Recording Industry Hall of Fame.  Not so fast.  In 2014, his place in the ARIA Hall of Fame was taken when he was found guilty of 12 counts of indecent assault against four girls.
2008:  Mel Galley, guitarist for Whitesnake, died from cancer of the esophagus at the age of 60 in Cannock, Staffordshire.
2010:  The Eagles were in concert at the Verizon Center in Little Rock, Arkansas.

Born This Day:
1915:  Willie Dixon, blues singer and guitarist who wrote "I Can't Quit You Baby", a song Led Zeppelin later did, was born in Vicksburg, Mississippi; died of heart failure in Burbank, California January 29, 1992.
1932:  Bobby Day, who wrote and sang "Rockin' Robin", was born in Fort Worth, Texas; died of cancer July 27, 1990 in Los Angeles.
1939:  Delaney Bramlett of Delaney & Bonnie was born in Pontotoc, Mississippi; died December 27, 2008 in Los Angeles from complications of gall bladder surgery.

1945:  Debbie Harry of Blondie was born in Miami, Florida.
1946:  June Montiero, singer with the Toys ("A Lover's Concerto"), was born in Queens, New York.
1948:  John Ford of the Strawbs was born in Fulham, London, England.
1951:  Fred Schneider, lead vocalist of the B-52's, was born in Newark, New Jersey.
1952:  Dan Aykroyd of the Blues Brothers and of course Saturday Night Live was born in Ottawa, Canada.
1952:  Leon Chancler, session drummer and percussionist, was born in Shreveport, Louisiana; played on "Billie Jean" for Michael Jackson and also worked with Donna Summer, Santana, Frank Sinatra, Kenny Rogers, Lionel Richie, Miles Davis, Herbie Hancock and many others
1960:  Ted Key, original bassist of the Housemartins, was born in Kingston upon Hull, East Riding of Yorkshire, England.
1963:  Roddy Bottum (real name Roswell Christopher), keyboardist for Faith No More, was born in Los Angeles.

1971:  Missy Elliott was born in Portsmouth, Virginia.
1971:  Adam MacDougall, keyboardist of the Black Crowes, was born in New York City.