Category: 90’s

Born on this day: May 21, 1972 – Rap music leg…

Born on this day: May 21, 1972 – Rap music legend The Notorious B.I.G. (born Christopher George Latore Wallace in New York City, NY). Happy Birthday to this Hip Hop icon on what would have been his 47th Birthday.

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On this day in music history: May 19, 1992 – “…

On this day in music history: May 19, 1992 – “Revenge”, the sixteenth studio album by KISS is released. Producer by Bob Ezrin, it is recorded at Rumbo Recorders in Canoga Park, CA, Track Records in North Hollywood, CA, Cornerstone Recorders in Chatsworth, CA, The Enterprise Studios in Burbank, CA, Acme Recording Studios in New York City, Ocean Way Recording and A&M Studios in Hollywood, CA from February 1991 – March 1992. Reuniting with veteran producer Bob Ezrin for the first time in ten years (since “Music From The Elder”), the first track KISS record with him is a cover of Argent’s “God Gave Rock & Roll To You” for the soundtrack of the film “Bill & Ted’s Bogus Journey”. The album also introduces new drummer Eric Singer to the band, replacing Eric Carr who passes away in November of 1991. It spins off five rock radio hits including “Unholy” and “Domino”, becoming the bands’ first US top 10 album since “Dynasty” thirteen years before. Issued briefly on vinyl during its initial release in 1992, it is remastered and reissued as a 180 gram vinyl LP in 2014. “Revenge” peaks at number six on the Billboard Top 200, and is certified Gold in the US by the RIAA.

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On this day music history: May 19, 1990 – &ldq…

On this day music history: May 19, 1990 – “Rub You The Right Way” by Johnny Gill hits #1 on the Billboard R&B singles chart for 1 week, also peaking at #3 on the Hot 100 on August 4, 1990. Written and produced by Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis, it is the first chart topping single for the singer from Washington, D.C. Known primarily as a romantic balladeer from the time he begins his recording career as a teenager, Johnny Gill finds himself pigeonholed in that category. When Gill is paired with superstar producers Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis, they make a consorted effort to expand the singer’s musical horizons. The duo use one of the singer’s childhood musical heroes as the template to make that happening. Noting how producers Kenny Gamble and Leon Huff would also write strong up tempo material for Teddy Pendergrass to sing, Jam and Lewis take a similar approach with Johnny. Noting the aggressive up tempo grooves like “Only You”, “You Can’t Hide From Yourself” and “Get Up, Get Down, Get Funky, Get Loose” by Pendergrass, Jimmy and Terry pen “Rub You The Right Way”. When Gill hears the track the producers have come up with, he’s all in. More adept as a live performer and never totally comfortable in the studio, it takes the singer a long time to perfect his vocals on the song. But once it’s completed, all agree that the song is a smash. The public will agree also, when “Rub You The Right Way” is issued as the first single from Johnny Gill’s third solo album on March 13, 1990. The single quickly races up the R&B chart, before crossing over and hitting the top five on the pop in late Summer. “Rub You” is also a solid hit on club dance floors, thanks to a hot dance remix by The Untouchables (DJ Pete Rock, DJ Eddie F. and Nevelle Hodge). The remix version also features additional rap verses by CL Smooth, which also receives significant radio and mix show play. “Rub You The Right Way” quickly propels the “Johnny Gill” album past the Platinum mark in the US, with the single moving more than a half million copies. The remix version is issued on a Japanese only CD compilation titled “Johnny The Remix”, released in 1991. “Rub You The Right Way” is certified Gold in the US by the RIAA.

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On this day in music history: May 19, 1990 -…

On this day in music history: May 19, 1990 – “Vogue” by Madonna hits #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 for 3 weeks, also topping the Club Play chart for 2 weeks on the same date. Written and produced by Madonna and Shep Pettibone, it is the eighth chart topping single for the pop music superstar born Madonna Louise Veronica Ciccone. Collaborating with club DJ, remixer, and producer Shep Pettibone, Madonna decide to come up with a non-album B-side for the “Like A Prayer” albums’ fifth single “Keep It Together”. The singer is inspired by dancers she sees at the New York City club The Sound Factory doing a stylized dance called “voguing”. Originating in New York’s black and latino underground gay clubs and drag balls as early as the 1960’s, the dance takes its name from the fashion magazine “Vogue”. It is a series of “angular, rigid hand, arm, leg and body movements” designed to look like the person is posing like a model while they are moving. When Madonna lets Warner Bros. know of her original intent to the use the song as a B-side, their great enthusiasm for the track persuade her to release it an A-side instead. “Vogue” is also added to the album “I’m Breathless” which includes songs from the film “Dick Tracy” in which she plays the character Breathless Mahoney. The songs popularity is further heightened by a memorable and striking black and white video directed by David Fincher (“Fight Club”, “Se7en”), featuring several of the dancers Madonna originally sees performing the dance, becoming dancers on the “Blonde Ambition Tour” in 1990. Entering the Hot 100 at #39 on April 14, 1990, it leaps to the top of the chart five weeks later. In 2010, “Vogue” is featured in “The Power Of Madonna” episode of the television show “Glee”, when the song is used in a spoof of the music video performed by actress Jane Lynch. The same year, Madonna and co-writer/producer Shep Pettibone are sued by Salsoul Records, claiming that “Vogue” samples a portion of The Salsoul Orchestra’s disco classic “Love Break”. The court eventually settles the lawsuit in Madonna’s favor. As a result of the suit, Warner Bros stops publishing royalty payments to Pettibone, who sues WB Music and Warner/Chappell Music in April of 2017. The suit claims that he is owed more than $500,000 in back royalties. Finally in April of 2019, one month shy of twenty nine years after the song tops the pop chart, Shep Pettibone wins his lawsuit (on appeal) against Warner Music Group and its music publishing company Warner/Chappell. “Vogue” is certified 2x Platinum in the US by the RIAA.

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Born on this day: May 16, 1966 – Singer, songw…

Born on this day: May 16, 1966 – Singer, songwriter and actress Janet Jackson (born Janet Damita Jo Jackson in Gary, IN). Happy 53rd Birthday, Janet!!!

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On this day in music history: May 15, 1993 – &…

On this day in music history: May 15, 1993 – “That’s The Way Love Goes” by Janet Jackson hits #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 for 8 weeks, also topping the R&B singles chart for 4 weeks on May 8, 1993, and topping the Club Play chart for 1 week on June 26, 1993. Written by Janet Jackson, James Harris III and Terry Lewis, it is the sixth pop and ninth R&B chart topper for the youngest member of the Jackson musical family. After almost ten years recording for A&M Records, which produce four albums including the multi-platinum selling “Control” and “Rhythm Nation 1814”, Janet Jackson’s contract with the label expires in 1991. During that time she is approached by Virgin Records founder Richard Branson offers her a deal she is unable to refuse. Jackson signs a deal with the label estimated to be worth between $32 – 50 million. At the time it makes her the highest paid artist in the history of the music industry (until her brother Michael signs a new deal with Sony for $65 million one week later). With the deal signed, Janet returns to work with her longtime collaborators, Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis. One of the first things the duo give the singer is a demo tape for the track that becomes “That’s The Way Love Goes”. Based around a sample of James Brown’s classic “Papa Don’t Take No Mess”, at first Janet isn’t particularly enthused by it. But by the time she returns to Minneapolis after Christmas in January of 1993, she has a dramatic change of opinion of it. She also comes up with idea of writing the lyrics with a more sultry tone, rather than the original theme of love gone wrong. Once they submit the album, Virgin is initially hesitant to release the laid back, down tempo track as the first single, preferring the song “If”. However, Jackson is adamant that “That’s The Way” be released first, and they comply with her wishes. Issued on April 12, 1993, the single is an immediate smash. Entering the Hot 100 at #14 on May 1, 1993, it rockets to the top of the chart two weeks later, becoming her most successful single ever. Also issued as an extended 12" with remixes by DJ CJ Mackintosh and additional production by “Little” Louie Vega and “Kenny "Dope” Gonzalez. Virgin Records in the US also releases a limited edition 7" jukebox vinyl single with the LP version on one side, and the instrumental mix on the B-side. The 45 is pressed on both translucent red and black vinyl. The single also wins a Grammy Award for Best R&B Song in 1994. “That’s The Way Love Goes” is certified Platinum in the US by the RIAA.

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Actor and comedian Tim Conway (born Thomas D…

Actor and comedian Tim Conway (born Thomas Daniel Conway in Willoughby, OH) – December 15, 1933 – May 14, 2019, RIP

On this day in music history: May 14, 1991 -…

On this day in music history: May 14, 1991 – “De La Soul Is Dead”, the second album by De La Soul is released. Produced by Prince Paul and De La Soul, it is recorded at Calliope Studios in New York City from Mid 1990 – Early 1991. After the groundbreaking success of their landmark debut album “3 Feet High And Rising”, De La Soul deliberately move away from the sound and image established on that album. Shaking off being labeled “hippies” by the music press and many fans for stretching the boundaries of hip hop on the first album, De La declares that the “D.A.I.S.Y. ("Da Inner Sound Y’all”) Age is over on their sophomore release “De La Soul Is Dead”. The group drive the point home further by featuring an illustration of an overturned and broken flowerpot of daisies on the front cover. Once again working with producer and DJ Prince Paul, the songs are linked together by a series of skits featuring Jeff, the character introduced on the earlier non album B-sides “Brainwashed Follower Of Fashion” and “The Mack Daddy On The Left”, finding a tape of De La’s album discarded in the trash. Jeff is beat up and robbed of the tape by a pair of bullies (played by DJ Maseo and Mista Lawnge of Black Sheep). The skit portions of the album are followed by a turn the page tone taken from a children’s “listen and read” record. It ends on a sardonic and ironic note, with the bullies throwing the tape back in the trash. Musically, it is as diverse and eclectic as the first, but with more of an emphasis on R&B, funk and jazz samples. The subject matter of the songs run a wide gamut, from the group lampooning wannabe rappers looking to get put on (“Ring, Ring, Ring (Ha Ha Hey)” (#3 Rap, #22 R&B), to the more serious topic of child sexual abuse (“Millie Pulled A Pistol On Santa”). It spins off three singles including “A Rollerskating Jam Called Saturdays” (#6 Club Play, #43 R&B) and “Keepin’ The Faith” (the double A-side flip to “Millie”). Clocking in at over seventy three and a half minutes, Tommy Boy services the album to radio and club DJ’s as a special double vinyl pressing (stock pressings are pressed on a single LP, and suffer from greatly diminished sound quality), packaged in a custom double pocket sleeve, and limited to 2,000 numbered copies. In time this promo pressing has become a sought after collector’s item, and has been widely bootlegged. The label reissues the vinyl on double vinyl in 2008. The vinyl edition is reissued by the vinyl subscription service Vinyl Me, Please in March of 2019. Limited to only 1,000 numbered copies, the double LP set is pressed on yellow and green split colored vinyl. “De La Soul Is Dead” peaks at number number twenty four on the Billboard R&B album chart, number twenty six on the Top 200, and is certified Gold in the US by the RIAA.

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On this day in music history: May 14, 1990 – &…

On this day in music history: May 14, 1990 – “Circle Of One”, the third album by Oleta Adams is released. Produced by Roland Orzabal and David Bascombe, it is recorded at Real World Studios in Box, Wiltshire, UK from Late 1989 – Early 1990. It is the major label debut for the Seattle, WA born singer, songwriter and musician. Adams is discovered by Roland Orzabal and Curt Smith of Tears For Fears in 1985 while touring the US in support of their album “Songs From The Big Chair. On a tour stop in Kansas City, MO, they see her performing in the piano bar of the hotel they are staying at. Two years after they first meet, they invite her to participate in the sessions for their third album "The Seeds Of Love”, on which she sings co-lead vocals on the track “Woman In Chains”. The duo also help Adams secure a contract with their label Fontana Records. With Orzabal co-producing David Bascombe, they record Adams’ album at musician Peter Gabriel’s recording studio near Bath, UK. After getting off to a slow start, it eventually spins off three hit singles including her cover of Brenda Russell’s song “Get Here” (#5 US Pop, #8 R&B, #4 UK), which becomes hugely popular during the Gulf War crisis. “Circle Of One” hits number one on the UK album chart, peaking at number twenty on the Billboard Top 200, number eleven on the R&B album chart, and is certified Gold in the US by the RIAA.

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On this day in music history: May 13, 1996 – &…

On this day in music history: May 13, 1996 – “Older”, the third album by George Michael is released (US release date is on May 14, 1996). Produced by George Michael and Jon Douglas, it is recorded at SARM West Studio Two in Notting Hill, London and Aegean Studios in London from Mid 1993 – Early 1996. The pop superstar’s first full length release in nearly six years, it comes after a long legal battle with Sony Music. Michael battles his label for his release over the terms of his contract, and what he feels was the under promotion of the “Listen Without Prejudice, V.1” album by the US division. He winds up losing the case, and remains bound to Sony until 1995, when Virgin Records in the UK and the newly formed Dreamworks SKG label jointly owned by Steven Spielberg, Jeffrey Katzenberg and David Geffen. Their company purchases George Michael’s contract from Sony, for an undisclosed sum. In the interim period, Michael has been working on and off on new music, though for the first time in his progress is slowed by writer’s block as well as dealing with other issues in his personal life. Having met Brazilian fashion designer Anselmo Feleppa after performing at the Rock In Rio festival in 1991, Michael enters into his first committed relationship with a man. Tragedy strikes when only six months later, Feleppa discovers that he is HIV positive. Michael himself is not infected, but ceases all work to care for his partner who passes away on March 26, 1993. Shaken by the loss, Feleppa’s death is the catalyst for one of George Michael’s most poignant and moving songs, writing the lyrics to “Jesus To A Child” (#1 UK, #7 US Pop) in just an hour and a half. Once again confident in his creative ability, Michael begins writing and recording again. Musically, “Older” picks up where “Listen Without Prejudice” leaves off, taking on a moodier and jazzier feel and is a direct reflection of what the singer has experienced over the previous three years. The album is an immediate smash in Europe and throughout much of the rest of the world, though the response in the US is decidedly muted and less enthusiastic, with American fans being more accustomed to Michael’s more pop oriented material. It spins off three singles (six internationally) including “Fastlove” (#1 UK, #8 US Pop) and Spinning The Wheel" (#2 UK). In 1997, an expanded edition is released in Europe with a bonus disc titled “Upper” featuring six bonus tracks including remixes and two previously unreleased songs. “Older” spends four weeks at number one on the UK album chart, peaking at number six on the Billboard Top 200, and is certified Platinum in the US by the RIAA.

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