Saturday, October 4, 2014

This Date in Rock Music History: October 5

1958:  Cliff Richard and the Shadows played their first show together at Victoria Hall in Hanley, England.
1959:  A new Motown group was first introduced to us as the Miracles as their first single--"Bad Girl" debuted on this date.
1959:  "Poison Ivy" was the top R&B Song for the Coasters.
1959:  Ernie Field's Combo were racing up the charts (95 to 46) with "In the Mood".

1959:  An historic day in the Rock Era as "Mack the Knife" by Bobby Darin moved into the #1 position.  It would remain there for six weeks and go on to become one of The Top 100 Songs of the Rock Era*.
1961:  The Shadows topped the U.K. chart with "Kon-Tiki".

1962:  The Beatles released the first single of their career in the U.K.--"Love Me Do".  It was premiered on Radio Luxembourg. 
1963:  Bobby Vinton saw "Blue Velvet" remain at #1 on the Easy Listening chart for the fifth week.
1963:  Martha & the Vandellas logged a fourth week at #1 on the R&B chart with "Heat Wave".
1963:  "Blue Velvet" by Bobby Vinton was still #1 overall but "Sally, Go 'Round the Roses" by the Jaynetts and "Be My Baby" from the Ronettes were close behind and "Sugar Shack" moved from 19-4.
1967:  The Doors played at Steve Paul's Scene in New York City.
1968:  Cream began their final tour of the United States.
1968:  The Who, Small Faces, Joe Cocker and the Crazy World of Arthur Brown began a tour together in London.

1968:  Waiting for the Sun by the Doors was the new #1 album, taking over from Time Peace/The Rascals' Greatest Hits.  Feliciano from Jose was third and Big Brother & the Holding Company held tight with Cheap Thrills.  The rest of the Top 10:  Are You Experienced? from the Jimi Hendrix Experience, Gentle On My Mind from Glen Campbell, Johnny Rivers with Realization at #7, Cream and Wheels of Fire, the debut from Steppenwolf and Iron Butterfly flew into the Top 10 with In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida.

1968:  "Hey Jude" by the Beatles remained #1.  "Harper Valley P.T.A." from Jeannie C. Riley was second followed by "Fire" from The Crazy World of Arthur Brown".  "Little Green Apples" was up from 20 to 4 for O.C. Smith.  
1969:  Gladys Knight & the Pips appeared on The Ed Sullivan Show.
1970:  Violinist Papa John Creach joined Jefferson Airplane.
1970:  Led Zeppelin released their third album, Led Zeppelin III.

1973:  Elton John released one of The Top Double Albums of the Rock Era*--Goodbye Yellow Brick Road.
1974:  Randy Newman performed together with an 87-piece symphony at the Atlanta Symphony Hall in Georgia, playing his new album Good Old Boys.
1974:  Most of us wouldn't become familiar with them until a few years later but on this date, the Atlanta Rhythm Section first charted with their song "Doraville".
1974:  Tubular Bells by Mike Oldfield was the #1 album in the U.K.

      BTO had a hot album

1974:  Endless Summer from the Beach Boys was the new #1 album while previous #1 Bad Company slipped to #3.  In between, Olivia Newton-John's If You Love Me, Let Me Know.  Bachman-Turner Overdrive was in full gear with Not Fragile and Elton John remained at #5 with Caribou.  The rest of the Top 10:  Barry White moved from 9 to 6 with Can't Get Enough, John Denver was Back Home Again, Chicago VII held position #8, Welcome Back, My Friends, to the Show That Never Ends -Ladies and Gentlemen from Emerson, Lake & Palmer moved into the Top 10 and Quincy Jones closed the list with Body Heat.
1974:  Stevie Wonder ruled the R&B chart with "You Haven't Done Nothin'".

1974:  America achieved their first #1 on the Easy Listening chart with "Tin Man".

1974:  Olivia Newton-John had the #1 song with "I Honestly Love You".
1976:  Hall & Oates received a Gold record for the album Abandoned Luncheonette.

1979:  Queen released the single "Crazy Little Thing Called Love".
1985:  Dire Straits spent a sixth week at #1 on the Album chart with Brothers In Arms.  That meant a logjam for The Dream of the Blue Turtles by Sting, Tears for Fears and Songs From the Big Chair, Bruce Springsteen's Born in the U.S.A. at #4 after 68 weeks, the debut from Whitney Houston and the Greatest Hits, Volume I & Volume II package from Billy Joel.  The rest of the Top 10:  Bryan Adams was moving back up to 7 with his career best Reckless after 46 weeks, Phil Collins and No Jacket Required, the great album Scarecrow from John Cougar Mellencamp and the self-titled Heart at #10.

1985:  Freddie Jackson scored one of his biggest hits with a song that was #1 on the R&B chart on this date--"You Are My Lady".
1985:  Whitney Houston earned the #1 song on the Adult Contemporary chart with "Saving All My Love For You".
1985:  Dire Straits registered their third week at #1 with "Money For Nothing".  "Cherish" by Kool & the Gang was #2 with Ready for the World up to #3 with "Oh Sheila".  Norway's A-Ha had song #4--"Take On Me" while Madonna moved up with "Dress You Up".
1987:  Johnny Marr, formerly with the Smiths, began rehearsing with the Pretenders to get ready for a North American tour with U2.
1991:  Bryan Adams scored a #1 U.K. album with Waking Up the Neighbours.

1991:  Amy Grant had a hot song moving up (67-49)--"That's What Love Is For".
1991:  Guns N' Roses debuted at #1 on the Album chart with Use Your Illusion II and they debuted at #2 with Use Your Illusion I.  Ropin' the Wind by Garth Brooks would step aside for a moment but it would be back to resume its dominance.  Emotions by Mariah Carey debuted at #4 ahead of the falling self-titled album from Metallica.  The rest of the Top 10:  Unforgettable With Love by Natalie Cole, No More Tears from Ozzy Osbourne, the Soundtrack to "The Commitments", Luck of the Draw by Bonnie Raitt was #9 and C.M.B. from Color Me Badd held the #10 slot.

1992:  Eddie Kendricks, lead singer of the Temptations and a solo artist ("Keep On Truckin'" from 1974), died at the age of 52 of lung cancer in Birmingham, Alabama, one year after having one lung removed.
1993:  The popular 1962-1966 and 1966-1970 albums by the Beatles were released on CD in the U.S.
1996:  "Breakfast at Tiffany's" by Deep Blue Something was the #1 song in the U.K.

1996:  Celine Dion took over at #1 on the album chart with Falling Into You.  Very little in the way of quality in the Top 10 with the exception of Jagged Little Pill by Alanis Morissette and No Code from Pearl Jam.
1999:  Roger Daltey announced that the Who were reforming.
2000:  The Beatles' autobiography (The Beatles Anthology) was released and on the first day, brought in 1.5 million orders.  Stores in Japan and England opened at midnight to handle demand.

2003:  Beyonce had the top song with "Baby Boy".
2005:  Gretchen Wilson had the top album with All Jacked Up.  Sheryl Crow was #2 with Wildflower.
2006:  Justin Timberlake's "SexyBack" topped the charts for a sixth week.
2008:  Pink had the top U.K. song with "So What".

Born This Day:
1938:  Carlo Mastrangelo of the Belmonts was born in The Bronx, New York.
1941:  Arlene Smith of the Chantells was born in New York City.
1941:  Wally Lester, tenor of the Skyliners, was born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

1942:  Richard Street, who joined the Temptations after Eddie Kendricks and Paul Williams left, was born in Detroit, Michigan; died of pulmonary embolism in Las Vegas on  February 27, 2013.

1943:  Steve Miller was born in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

1945:  Brian Connolly, lead singer of Sweet, was born in Hamilton, Scotland; died February 9, 1997.  (Note:  early Sweet biographies claim he was born in 1949.  Some websites show his death as February 10th.  Both dates are a direct contradiction to the gravestone shown above.  Some websites report his birthplace as England, but he and his family did not move there until Brian was 12.  Some sites show his birthplace as Glasgow, but according to 'The Herald', a newspaper based in Glasgow, Scotland, he was born in Hamilton.)
1946:  Richard Kermode, keyboardist on albums by Santana and Janis Joplin, was born in Lovell, Wyoming; died of cancer on January 16, 1996 in Denver, Colorado.

1947:  Brian Johnson, the lead singer of AC/DC since 1980, was born in Dunston, Gateshead, England.  (Note:  some websites show his birthplace as Newcastle Upon Tyne, but he was born in Dunston, according to the 'BBC', 'CBS', and other reliable sources. 
1948:  Lucius Ross, rhythm guitarist of Funkadelic, was born in Wagram, North Carolina.

1949:  B.W. Stevenson ("Take A Letter, Maria") was born in Dallas, Texas; died April 28, 1988 while undergoing heart valve surgery at the age of 38.

1950:  "Fast" Eddie Clarke, elite guitarist of Motorhead, was born in Twickenham, London.

1952:  Harold Faltermeyer, recording artist ("Axel F") and a musician, arranger and producer who has worked with Barbra Streisand, Donna Summer, Glenn Frey, Blondie, Billy Idol, Cheap Trick and many others, was born in Munich,   Germany.

1954:  Sir Bob Geldof, singer, songwriter, and lead singer of the Boomtown Rats ("I Don't Like Mondays"), but even more important the founder of Live Aid, was born in DĂșn Laoghaire, Ireland.
1955:  Leo Barnes, saxophonist of Hothouse Flowers, who also worked with Michelle Shocked, among others, was born in Dublin, Ireland.
1957:  Lee Thompson, saxophone player and co-founder of Madness, was born in London.
1974:  Heather Headley, singer, songwriter and producer ("In My Mind" from 2005), was born in Barataria, Trinidad and Tobago.
1978:  James Valentine, lead guitarist of Maroon 5, was born in Lincoln, Nebraska.
1980:  Paul Thomas, bassist of Good Charlotte, was born in Waldorf, Maryland.

On Deck in The Top Artists of the Seventies*

An amazing lead guitar player helped this California group become one of the top acts of the 80's.  Their story began in the 70's, as the band released two albums in the decade, including a super debut.  We'll hear The #96 Artist of the Seventies* tomorrow on Inside The Rock Era!

AC/DC, The #97 Artist of the Seventies*

Editor's Note:  AC/DC fans, don't get upset!  This is a ranking of artists in the 70's, not of all-time.  You'll see artists in the next few days ranked ahead of your group and wonder how in the heck that can happen.  Remember, AC/DC only had one major album in the 70's, and didn't achieve their great success until 'Back In Black' in 1980.

Brothers Angus and Malcolm Young were born in Scotland, and moved with their family in 1963.  Their brother George began learning how to play the guitar, and joined the Easybeats ("Friday On My Mind").  George would later go on to produce AC/DC albums.  Malcolm soon followed suit, joining a Newcastle band called the Velvet Underground, not to be confused with New York's Velvet Underground. 

In 1973, Malcolm and Angus formed AC/DC with  bassist Larry Van Kriedt, vocalist Dave Evans, and drummer Colin Burgess.  The two brothers formed the idea for the group after their sister, Margaret, noticed the initials "AC/DC" on a sewing machine.  Angus and Malcolm believed this name symbolized the group's raw energy and power-driven performances of their music.

Gene Pierson signed AC/DC to play at Bondi Lifesaver on New Year's Eve in 1973.  Most of the members of the group dressed in a glam-rock style, with Angus adopting his now famous school-uniform stage outfit.   Manager Dennis Laughlin, the original lead singer of Sherbet, occasionally replaced Evans on lead vocals.

The Young brothers were looking to permanently replace Evans, and Ronald "Bon" Scott came highly recommended.  Scott too had been born in Scotland before emigrating to Australia.  Other changes were made before the group stabilized, with bassist Mark Evans and drummer Phil Rudd taking over those duties. 
Through regular appearances on Molly Meldrum's Countdown, AC/DC became one of the most popular artists in Australia in the mid-70's.  In 1976, they signed a recording contract with Atlantic Records and toured throughout Europe, opening for Styx, Aerosmith, KISS, and Black Sabbath.  AC/DC then released their first international album, High Voltage, in 1976, which was actually a compilation of tracks from the earlier, limited-release albums High Voltage and T.N.T.  The international High Voltage contained the song that the group closed their shows with in those days, "It's A Long Way To The Top (If You Wanna' Rock 'N' Roll)"

The group released the album Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap the same year, although it wasn't released in the United States until 1981, after the group had become stars.  In 1977, AC/DC released the album Let There Be Rock.  Afterwards, they fired Mark Evans, replaced by Cliff Williams.

By this time, AC/DC had become popular in the U.K, but their first exposure in the United States was at a show at the Capitol Theater in Flint, Michigan.  In 1978, Williams debuted with the group on the album Powerage.  The group's live show at the Apollo Theatre in Glasgow was recorded and released as If You Want Blood You've Got It.  

AC/DC were stars in their adopted country of Australia, and they had a following in Europe.  But they had yet to become international stars.  That changed in 1979 with their breakthrough album, Highway to Hell.  Not coincidentally, this achievement was made with producer Robert "Mutt" Lange being a major factor.  
Highway to Hell was the group's first Top 100 album, peaking at #17.  The title track gave them their first U.S. hit at #42.

The album was initially a slow-seller, and sold most of its seven million copies after the group became big.  But those sales still count in our formula, and are the reason AC/DC makes The Top 100 Artists of the Seventies*Highway to Hell featured the great track "Get It Hot".

Scott delivered screaming vocals on "Girls Got Rhythm".

AC/DC had recorded a great album, although not a lot of people realized it at the time.  I happened to be one of them, and believed then they were special.  Here's the group with "Beating Around The Bush".

Scott did another amazing vocal on "Walk All Over You".

Another outstanding song on the album is "Touch Too Much".  

The group would go on to score one of The Top Albums of the Rock Era* the following year with Back in Black, but that is a story for another decade.

Although they had experienced only limited worldwide success by the end of the decade, in retrospect, AC/DC's story was already well underway, and the sales of the group's back catalog after Back in Black show that they deserve to be recognized as one of the top 70's acts.

Friday, October 3, 2014

Up Next in The Top 100 Artists of the Seventies...

A heavy metal group who only made the list because of an album they did in 1980.  That album was so huge that it spurred sales of their back catalog and interest in their earlier albums.  Those sales helped the band make The Top 100*.

You'll hear their story and headbangin' music next.

This Date in Rock Music History: October 4

1956:  The Tennessee Ernie Ford Show began on NBC-TV.
1961:  Bob Dylan performed at Carnegie Hall in New York City before an audience of 50 people.
1962:  The Tornadoes blew into the #1 spot in the U.K. with "Telstar".
1963:  Eric Clapton replaced Anthony Topham in the Yardirds at the Crawdaddy Club in Richmond, England.  
1963:  The Beatles appeared on the British television show Ready!  Steady!  Go!

1966:  The New Vaudeville Band released the single "Winchester Cathedral".
1966:  The Byrds performed at the Village Gate in New York City.
1968:  Paul McCartney began recording "Martha My Dear" for the White Album (he finished the next day) at Trident Studios in London.

1968:  Cream began a farewell tour at Oakland Coliseum in California.
1969:  The Beatles had the top U.K. album with Abbey Road.
1969:  The 5th Dimension gravitated from 67 to 35 with "Wedding Bell Blues".

                  Nilsson made a big move with "Everbody's Talkin'"...

1969:  It was a sweet time in the Rock Era as the Archies remained at #1 for a third week with "Sugar, Sugar".  Oliver moved from 7-2 with "Jean" and Bobby Sherman did his best with "Little Woman".  Three Dog Night was ranked much higher in most markets with "Easy To Be Hard".  The rest of the Top 10:  The Temptations with "I Can't Get Next To You", the Rolling Stones with their former #1 "Honky Tonk Women", "Green River" from CCR, Nisson was up big (17-8) with "Everybody's Talkin'", Sly & the Family Stone were at #9 with "Hot Fun in the Summertime" and the Dells remained at 10 with "Oh, What A Night".
1970:  Janis Joplin was found dead from heroin at the age of 27 at the Landmark Motor Hotel in Hollywood, California.
1971:  Pink Floyd played the first of four nights at the Roman Amphitheater in Pompeii, Italy.  The film Live at Pompeii was later released documenting the shows.
1973:  David Crosby and Graham Nash joined Stephen Stills onstage at Winterland in San Francisco and soon Neil Young joined them, marking the first CSNY appearance together in two years.
1973:  The 500th edition of Top of the Pops aired on BBC-TV with The Osmonds, Gary Glitter and Slade.
1975:  Pink Floyd had the #1 album in the U.K. with Wish You Were Here.
1975:  Helen Reddy was awarded her seventh #1 song on the Easy Listening chart with "Ain't No Way To Treat A Lady".
1975:  The Captain & Tennille followed up their #1 "Love Will Keep Us Together" with "The Way I Want To Touch You", which moved from 80 to 33 on this date.

                      Sweet with their biggest career hit...

1975:  "Fame" hit #1 for David Bowie but the #3 song--"Rhinestone Cowboy" by Glen Campbell was actually the top song in most markets.  John Denver fell with "I'm Sorry" and David Geddes had #4--"Run, Joey, Run".  The rest of the Top 10:  Dickie Goodman crashed the Top 10 with "Mr. Jaws", Neil Sedaka and Elton John moved from 25-6 with "Bad Blood", Sweet's great song "Ballroom Blitz" was 7, Orleans reached the Top 10 with "Dance With Me", Helen Reddy was at position #9 with "Ain't No Way To Treat A Lady" and Austin Roberts shot into the Top 10 (24-10) with "Rocky".

1976:  Burton Cummings, lead singer of the top Canadian band in history, Guess Who, released his first solo single--"Stand Tall".
1980:  Carly Simon collapsed on stage at Stanley Theater in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania from nervous exhaustion, forcing the cancellation of the rest of her tour.
1980:  Mick Fleetwood, Lindsey Buckingham and Stevie Nicks of Fleetwood Mac presented the USC Trojan Marching Band with a platinum record for their part in the Tusk album (the band was featured on the title song.

1980:  Queen reached the pinnacle for the second time in their career with "Another One Bites The Dust.  Air Supply was #2 in its 17th week with "All Out Of Love" and the former #1 ("Upside Down") from Diana Ross was third.  George Benson and "Give Me The Night" was followed by country crossover Eddie Rabbitt and "Drivin' My Life Away".  The rest of the Top 10:  "Late In The Evening" from Paul Simon, Barbra Streisand had her 30th career hit with "Woman In Love", which rose from 12 to 7, "I'm Alright" by Kenny Loggins from the funny movie Caddyshack, Johnny Lee's "Lookin' For Love" at #9 and Olivia Newton-John and ELO joined forces for the #10 song--"Xanadu".
1982:  The group Squeeze ("Tempted") broke up.  They would get back together three years later.
1986:  Van Halen announced that Gary Cherone, formerly of Extreme, would take over as lead singer for Sammy Hagar.
1986:  Paul Simon owned the #1 U.K. album with Graceland.

                     Genesis scored their third Top 10 song...

1986:  Huey Lewis & the News told all about being "Stuck With You", #1 for a third week.  Genesis had the top new entry in the Top 10 with "Throwing It All Away".
1988:  Kenny G released his monumental album Silhouette.
1991:  J. Frank Wilson ("Last Kiss") died of a heart attack at the age of 49.
1994:  The Eagles reunion tour was halted temporarily as Glen Frey had to have emergency stomach surgery.
1997:  Farm Aid in Tinley, Illinois raised over $1 million for farmers in the United States.
1998:  Julian Lennon performed at the International Association Against Drugs in San Patrignano, Italy.
1999:  A good day as Sting, Tony Bennett and Wyclef Jean performed at the reopening of the famous Radio City Music Hall in New York City.
2003:  Bob Dylan joined Bruce Springsteen & the E Street Band for "Highway 61 Revisited" during the final stop on Springsteen's tour at Shea Stadium in New York City.

2005:  Michael Gibbins, drummer with Badfinger, died in his sleep of a brain aneurysm at his home in Oviedo, Florida at the age of 56.
2006:  Barbra Streisand began a rare concert tour in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
2007:   Isaac Hanson from the group Hanson had surgery to remove a blood clot from his lungs in Dallas, Texas after being diagnosed with a potentially fatal condition  (Venous Thoracic Outlet Syndrome).  (Note:  several sources report that the surgery was October 5.  They got this information from newspapers, which, as you know, are printed the day after news happens.  The surgery was October 4, and Isaac was released on October 5.) 

2007:  The Rolling Stones set a new Rock Era record with their A Bigger Bang tour for the top grossing tour of all-time.  The tour from late 2005 to August of 2007 earned $437 million, eclipsing the mark previously set by U2, which earned $389 million.

Born This Day:
1922:  Leroy Van Dyke ("Walk On By" from 1961) was born in Mora, Missouri.
1942:  Marshall Jones, founding member and bassist of the Ohio Players, was born in Dayton, Ohio.  (Note:  some sources state his birthplace as Natchitoches, Louisiana, but the book 'Disco, Punk, New Wave, Heavy Metal, and More: Music in the 1970s and 1980s', by Britannica Educational Publishing, shows it as Dayton.)
1944:  Marlena Davis of Orlons ("The Wah Watusi"); died February 27, 1993 of lung cancer.
1947:  Jim Fielder, bassist for Blood, Sweat & Tears, Buffalo Springfield and the Mothers of Invention, was born in Denton, Texas.
1957:  Barbara Kooyman (also known by her stage name of Barbara K. and by Barbara K. MacDonald) of Timbuk 3 ("The Future's So Bright I Gotta' Wear Shades" from 1987) was born in Wausau, Wisconsin.
1959:  Chris Lowe, keyboardist of the Pet Shop Boys, was born in  Blackpool, Lancashire, England.

1961:  Jon Secada was born in Havana, Cuba.

Featured Unknown/Underrated Song*: The Carpenters, with "Bless The Beasts And The Children"

The Carpenters took this remarkable song and made it great.  If you look exclusively at numbers, it doesn't jump out at you--#67 overall and #26 on the Adult chart.  One has to listen to see.  As the "B" side to "Superstar", it didn't get the promotion at the time, yet despite that, the song was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Original Song (from the movie of the same name).  It was written by Barry De Vorzon and Perry Botkin, Jr., who later came up with the gem "Nadia's Theme".

"Bless The Beasts And The Children"
Written by Barry De Vorzon and Perry Botkin, Jr.
Bless the beasts and the children
For in this world they have no voice
They have no choice

Bless the beasts and the children
For the world can never be
The world they see

Light their way when the darkness surrounds them
And give them love, let it shine all around them

Bless the beasts and the children
Give them shelter from the storm
Keep them safe, keep them warm

Light their way when the darkness surrounds them
And give them love, let it shine all around them

Bless the beasts and the children
Give them shelter from the storm
Keep them safe, keep them warm

(the children)
(the children)
(the children) 

Cheap Trick, The #98 Artist of the Seventies*

From an early age, elite guitarist Rick Nielsen began accumulating a great collection of rare and valuable guitars.  He played in several bands in his hometown of Rockford, Illinois, including the Boyz and the Grim Reapers.  In 1967, Nielsen combined with Tom Peterson (later known as Tom Petersson) in the group Fuse.  Meanwhile, drummer Brad Carlson, who would later adopt the name Bun E. Carlos, played in a rival Rockford band, the Pagans.

Fuse released their self-titled debut album on Epic Records in 1970.  When it didn't sell, the members became frustrated.  Carlos joined them for a move to Philadelphia, but after a European tour in 1973, the three returned to Rockford.  It was here that Cheap Trick was originally formed, with lead singer Robin Zander joining shortly afterwards.  Cheap Trick recorded a demo record in 1975, and played shows in venues throughout the Midwestern United States.

Cheap Trick signed a recording contract with Epic in 1976 after producer Jack Douglas caught one of their shows in Wisconsin.  In 1977, the group released their self-titled album.  Critics loved it, but we know that means nothing as critics don't buy a lot of albums.  The group caught on in Japan, and the single "ELO Kiddies" was a hit in selected countries in Europe.

Cheap Trick released the album In Color later in the year without any improvement in the band's fortunes.  None of the singles--"Southern Girls", "I Want You To Want Me" and "So Good To See You" charted in the major markets, but "Clock Strikes Ten" from the album reached #1 in Japan. 

The group released Heaven Tonight in 1978, with the lead single "Surrender" becoming their first song to chart in America at #62.  While Cheap Trick was struggling to get off the ground in the U.S., the U.K., Germany, Australia, Canada (none of their first three albums reached the Top 40 on the Album chart), and other countries, they were becoming superstars in Japan.  All three Cheap Trick albums had gone gold in Japan.  The band seemed to be perfect with the Japanese, and this would be a key factor in making them stars the world over. 

Cheap Trick toured Japan in 1978, and they were met with a frenzy in that country not unlike Beatlemania of the 60's.  The group recorded two shows with their loyal fans at the Nippon Budokan, and ten tracks were released as the live album Cheap Trick at Budokan.  The album was intended to be exclusively for their biggest fans in Japan, but demand for the import album became so great that Epic finally released the album in the United States in 1979.  That move proved to be key to their success. 

A few acts in the Rock Era seem to perform better live than in the studio, and The #98 Act of the Seventies* is one of those.  Cheap Trick at Budokan became their breakthrough album.  The live version of "I Want You To Want Me" became a smash where the studio version had done nothing.  The first single from Cheap Trick at Budokan reached #7 in the U.S. and #2 in Canada.    

Cheap Trick had arrived, as sales of the album spiked to reach three million in the United States alone.  The follow-up was an incredible remake of the song "Ain't That A Shame", featuring the amazing drumming of Carlos.  At a peak of #35, though, it is one of The Top Unknown/Underrated Songs of the Rock Era*.

Fans all over the world became interested in the music Japan had loved for years, and other tracks from the album began to get airplay.  The live version of "Surrender" was better than the original.

"Hello There" kicked off the album that won Cheap Trick new fans.

Another outstanding track on the album is the live version of "Clock Strikes Ten".
Cheap Trick at Budokan did so well that Epic had to hold up release of the group's studio album Dream Police.  Finally, the group released it later in the year, and it built on the momentum that had been created.  The title song reached #4 in Canada, #5 in Australia, and #7 in New Zealand, but only #26 in the U.S.

Two other tracks from the album represent some of Cheap Trick's best work.  "Need Your Love" was included on the live album, but this is one case in which the studio version was better.


Dream Police went Platinum, thanks to another outstanding track which received considerable airplay--"Gonna' Raise Hell".

Although the group never matched that early success, they continued to produce quality albums throughout the 80's, and their live act was not to be missed.  In 2007, the Illinois Senate passed a resolution designating April 1 as Cheap Trick Day.

Cheap Trick sold over six million albums in the Seventies, and scored five hits, with "I Want You To Want Me" reaching the Top 10.

Thursday, October 2, 2014

This Date in Rock Music History: October 3

1945:  Elvis Presley gave his first performance, singing "Old Shep" at the age of 10 at a Mississippi-Alabama Dairy Show talent contest.
1957:  The Pat Boone Chevy Showroom premiered on ABC-TV.
1960:  Ike and Tina Turner made their U.S. television debut and performed "A Fool In Love" on American Bandstand on ABC-TV.
1964:  The Beatles taped a performance for broadcast on Shindig! at Granville Theatre in London.

                     One of the landmark albums of all-time...

1964:  The album A Hard Day's Night by the Beatles had been out for 12 weeks, with 11 of those at #1.  Something New by the Beatles was runner-up followed by Everybody Loves Somebody from Dean Martin and the album Peter, Paul and Mary in Concert.  The rest of the Top 10:  All Summer Long from the Beach Boys, How Glad I Am by Nancy Wilson, one of The Top 100 Albums of the Rock Era*--Getz/Gilberto by Stan Getz & Joao Gilberto at #7, Funny Girl from Barbra Streisand, Hello, Dolly! by Louis Armstrong and the Impressions pressed up from 17 to 10 with Keep On Pushing.

1965:  Manfred Mann became the first band from the West to perform behind what was then the Iron Curtain.  Luckily for them, those people are now as free as everyone else (except for China, Iran, Syria and North Korea as notable exceptions).  Maybe someday.

        Unrealized potential...

1970:  Janis Joplin listened to the instrumental track for "Buried Alive in the Blues" at Sunset Studios, intending to record the vocal for her album Pearl on October 5.  She died the next day.
1970:  Diana Ross reached #1 on the R&B chart with "Ain't No Mountain High Enough".

They'll go down in history as one of the Top Acts of All-Time.

1970:  "Ain't No Mountain High Enough" was #1 for a third week from Diana Ross while CCR would move into a familiar position--#2--with "Lookin' Out My Back Door".  Dawn rose to #3 with "Candida" and Neil Diamond came in fourth with "Cracklin' Rosie".  The rest of the Top 10:  "Julie, Do Ya' Love Me" by Bobby Sherman, which in reality was not actually played in many markets, "I'll Be There" from the Jackson 5 moved from 19-6, Rare Earth and "(I Know) I'm Losing You", Anne Murray's "Snowbird" at #8, Edwin Starr was on his way down with the former #1 "War" and Free moved into #10 slot with "All Right Now". 
1970:  Cosmo's Factory, one of The Top 100 Albums of the Rock Era*, from CCR was #1 for the seventh consecutive week.  The Soundtrack to "Woodstock" was second with Joe Cocker's Mad Dogs & Englishmen at #3.  We were already figuring out how special Chicago was as Chicago II was #4 in its 34th week.  The rest of the Top 10:  Stage Fright from the Band, Closer To Home by Grand Funk Railroad, A Question of Balance by the Moody Blues, Tommy by the Who in its 55th week, Blood, Sweat & Tears 3 and a new entry from Neil Young--After the Gold Rush.
1972:  The Eagles performed at the Charlotte Coliseum in Charlotte, North Carolina.

1972:  Led Zeppelin played at Budokan Hall in Tokyo, Japan for a second night.

1976:  Marvin Gaye performed in the first of several concerts at the London Palladium.  The shows were recorded and released on the 1977 album Live at the London Palladium.  (Note:  Some sources report the first show as September 26, but this is in conflict with the poster shown above.)

1977:  Linda Ronstadt released her remake of the Buddy Holly classic "It's So Easy".
1980:  Bob Seger joined Bruce Springsteen onstage to perform "Thunder Road" at the Chrisler Arena on the University of Michigan campus in Ann Arbor, Michigan.

1981:  Diana Ross and Lionel Ritchie remained at #1 for a seventh week on the R&B chart with "Endless Love".
1981:  The Police cruised up from 66 to 44 with "Every Little Thing She Does Is Magic". 
1981:  The Kinks were in concert at Madison Square Garden in New York City.
                It was said of Al:  "He has an entire orchestra in his throat."

1981:  Tattoo You by the Rolling Stones was the #1 album for the third week with 4 by Foreigner moving up.  Escape from Journey and Bella Donna by Stevie Nicks provided competition.  The rest of the Top 10:  Pirates from Rickie Lee Jones, Nine Tonight at #6 from Bob Seger & the Silver Bullet Band, the great album The Innocent Age by Dan Fogelberg moved from 20 to 7, Pat Benatar's Precious Time held down #8, the Soundtrack To "Endless Love" was in the #9 position and Al Jarreau made the list with Breakin' Away.

1988:  Guns 'N Roses released the single "Welcome to the Jungle".
1987:  "Lost In Emotion" by Lisa Lisa and Cult Jam moved into the #1 position on the R&B chart.
1987:  "(I've Had) The Time of My Life" by Bill Medley & Jennifer Warnes moved from #73 to #54.

                  Everything's good...When Smokey Sings...

1987:  "Didn't We Almost Have It All" by Whitney Houston was #1 with Whitesnake in the bridesmaid's position with "Here I Go Again".  Lisa Lisa & Cult Jam were back with the #3 song "Lost In Emotion", followed by "I Heard A Rumour" by Bananarama and Europe's "Carrie".  The rest of the Top 10:  Prince and Sheena Easton with "U (sic) Got the Look", Heart's 23rd career hit "Who Will You Run To", which cleared the Top 10 moving 13-8, "When Smokey Sings" from ABC, John Cougar Mellencamp and his 16th hit "Paper in FIre" and Smokey Robinson in person with "One Heartbeat".
1988:  Imagine, a documentary about John Lennon that was compiled from 240 hours of unreleased footage, premiered in Hollywood, California.

1992:  Abba dominated the U.K. album chart with the #1 album Gold-Greatest Hits.
1992:  If you're keeping count, Boyz II Men made it eight weeks at #1 with "End of the Road".
1994:  Eric Clapton started out on his Nothing But the Blues tour in Montreal, Quebec, Canada.
1996:  Van Halen fired lead singer David Lee Roth for a second time following a recording session for the group's Greatest Hits package.

2000:  Green Day released the album Warning.

2000:  Benjamin Orr, bassist and lead singer on "Just What I Needed" and "Drive" for the Cars, died of pancreatic cancer at the age of 53.
2003:  At a conference on domestic violence, the wife of Maryland Governor Robert Ehrlich sharply criticized how sex was marketed to teens and said "If I had an opportunity to shoot Britney Spears, I think I would."  Doubt if she had too many dissenters.

2003:  Life for Rent by Dido was the fastest-selling album in England in six years as it moved 250,000 copies in five days.
2004:  Joss Stone debuted at #1 on the U.K. album chart with Mind, Body & Soul.

Born This Day:

1938:  Eddie Cochran ("Summertime Blues") was born in Albert Lea, Minnesota; died April 17, 1960 at a hospital in Bath, England, following a car accident in Chippenham while riding in a taxi (Gene Vincent was injured in the same accident.)  (Note:  many sources still cite Oklahoma City, Oklahoma as his birthplace, as Eddie always said in interviews that he was from Oklahoma, but new research directly from Eddie's first cousins and his nephew in Tennessee indicates that the Cochran family moved to Albert Lea in 1930 or shortly afterward ( 909 Marshall Street) prior to the birth of both their fourth child, Patty, and their fifth child, Eddie.  The family was homesick and often went back to Oklahoma to visit Eddie's grandmother, and they later moved briefly back to Oklahoma City.)
1940:  Alan O'Day ("Undercover Angel"), who wrote "Angie Baby" for Helen Reddy and "Rock and Roll Heaven" for the Righteous Brothers, was born in Hollywood, California; died May 17 in Los Angeles of brain cancer.

1941:  Ernest Evans, better known as Chubby Checker, was born in Spring Gulley, South Carolina.  (Note:  some sources state that he was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, but he and his family moved there from Spring Gulley when Ernest was young.)
1941:  Lenny Waronker, producer for Randy Newman and Arlo Guthrie and president of Warner/Reprise Records, was born in Los Angeles.

1949:  Lindsey Buckingham was born in Palo Alto, California.  (Note:  some sources claim the birth year was 1947 or 1948, but most credible sources, including the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, show 1949.).

1954:  Elite guitarist Stevie Ray Vaughan was born in Dallas, Texas; died in a helicopter crash on August 27, 1990 in East Troy, Wisconsin.
1959:  Jack Wagner ("All I Need" from 1985) was born in Washington, Missouri.

1969:  Gwen Stefani of No Doubt and a solo star, was born in Fullerton, California.  (Note:  some sources claim her birthplace was Anaheim; her biography by Katherine Krohn shows that she was born in Fullerton, but her family lived in Anaheim.  Another source cites St. Jude's Hospital in Fullerton as the place where she was born.)
1971:  Kevin Richardson of the Backstreet Boys was born in Lexington, Kentucky.

1975:  India.Arie (India Arie Simpson) was born in Denver, Colorado.  (Note:  some sources, including Joel Whitburn, in his book 'Joel Whitburn Presents Rock Tracks 1981-2008', the BBC, and Yahoo show the birth year as 1976.  Nearly all sources, including 'Essence', 'Starpulse', '', and '' show her birthday as 1975, and we believe Whitburn got it wrong, and the other sources are merely copying his information.)
1979:  Nate Wood, drummer of the Calling

1984:  Ashlee Simpson was born in Waco, Texas.