Category: 90’s

On this day in music history: November 20, 199…

On this day in music history: November 20, 1995 – “Beatles Anthology 1” by The Beatles is released. Produced by Tony Meehan, George Martin and Jeff Lynne, it is recorded at Phillips’ Sound Recording Services, Liverpool, UK, 20 Forthlin Road, Allerton, Liverpool, UK, Friedrich-Ebert-Halle, Hamburg, Germany, Decca Studios, BBC Maida Vale Studios, The London Palladium, Prince of Wales Theatre, IBC Studios and Abbey Road Studios in London, CBS Television Studio, The Dakota in New York City and The Mill Studios in Peasmarsh, East Sussex, UK from July 1958 – March 1994. The first of three double CD sets (also released as a three LP vinyl set), the sixty track compilation album is the audio accompaniment to the three part mini series on the history of the iconic rock band. It features outtakes, alternate versions and rare live performances of some of their best known songs and earliest recordings. Among the early recordings is the first made by the pre-Beatles era skiffle band The Quarrymen, which includes Lennon, McCartney and Harrison along with school mates John “Duff” Lowe and Colin Hanton. On July 12, 1958, the band record a cover of Buddy Holly & The Crickets’ “That’ll Be The Day” on with “In Spite Of All The Danger” (written by Paul and George), at Percy Phillips’ Phillips’ Sound Recording Services. The two songs are recorded directly on to a 78 RPM acetate disc, with the record being passed around to all of the group members to listen to. Eventually it ends up with “Duff” Lowe who holds on to the disc for nearly twenty five years, until Paul McCartney buys it back from him. The album also includes “Free As A Bird”, the first new song from The Beatles in twenty five years. It is constructed from a home cassette demo recorded by John Lennon in 1977, then completed by the surviving members (in February – March 1994). The single peaks at #6 on the Hot 100 on January 6, 1996, winning two Grammy Awards for Best Pop Performance By A Duo Or Group With Vocals and Best Shortform Video in 1997. “Anthology 1” debuts at number one on the Billboard Top 200, spending three weeks at the top, and is certified 8x Platinum in the US by the RIAA.

On this day in music history: November 19, 199…

On this day in music history: November 19, 1991 – “Achtung Baby”, the seventh studio album by U2 is released. Produced by Daniel Lanois and Brian Eno, it is recorded at Hansa Studios in Berlin, Germany, Elsinore Studios in Dalkey, Ireland, STS Studios and Windmill Lane Studios in Dublin, Ireland from October 1990 – September 1991. It marks the beginning of a major shift in U2’s musical direction. The album takes its title from a line in the Mel Brooks comedy “The Producers”, both as a tongue in cheek reference to the bands’ recording in Germany, and to add some levity to intensity of the music contained on it. Initial sessions for the album take place at Hansa Studios in Berlin which prove so arduous that the band nearly breaks up in frustration. The writing and recording of the track “One” (#10 Pop) allows them to regroup and creatively refocus their efforts, leading the way to the rest of the albums’ completion. The resulting work is a huge critical and commercial success, spinning off five singles including “Mysterious Ways” (#9 Pop) and “Even Better Than The Real Thing” (#32 Pop). The albums’ cover art, designed by Steve Averill, features a series of various photos (taken by photographer Anton Corbijn) also includes a full frontal nude picture of bassist Adam Clayton on the back cover. The original limited vinyl LP release features this photo uncensored, while the CD pressing includes the photo with an “X” drawn over Clayton’s private parts. The album is remastered and reissued to commemorate its twentieth anniversary in October of 2011, including a single CD, a double CD “Deluxe Edition”, and double vinyl LP releases (with a bonus 12" EP featuring remixes, pressed on blue vinyl). Also released is a “Super Deluxe” that contain six CD’s, four DVD’s and a ninety-two page hardbound book.  And finally, a limited (to only six hundred copies) and numbered “Über Deluxe” edition containing all of the contents of the Super Deluxe version, plus the double LP set, and reproductions of all of the albums’ singles pressed on clear vinyl, and packaged with their corresponding picture sleeves. It also features a copy of Propaganda, the bands’ fan club magazine, art prints of the album cover artwork, four badges, stickers, and a pair of Bono’s “Fly” sunglasses. “Achtung Baby” debuts at number one on the Billboard Top 200, and is certified 8x Platinum in the US by the RIAA.

On this day in music history: November 19, 199…

On this day in music history: November 19, 1990 – Pop music duo Milli Vanilli are stripped of their Grammy Award for Best New Artist. The National Academy Of Recording Arts And Sciences, the organization that awards the coveted music industry honor, revokes the prize won by Milli Vanilli members Fabrice Morvan and Rob Pilatus, after it is revealed that neither actually sang on the groups’ multi-Platinum selling album “Girl You Know It’s True”. Producer Frank Farian announces to the press on November 12, 1990 that the duo did not actually perform on the album (the actual vocalists were Charles Shaw, Brad Howell and John Davis), after Pilatus and Morvan insisted on singing on the second Milli Vanilli album, which was in production. In a hastily organized press conference, Rob and Fab give their award back, explaining that they were basically pawns in the deception perpetrated by producer Farian, who had made them the visual face of the group after he found they could not sing. As a result of the scandal, former fans file class act lawsuits against Arista Records seeking refunds for their purchase of Milli Vanilli’s records. Rob & Fab attempt to continue their music career, but due to the overwhelmingly negative publicly surrounding them, the album they release in 1991 under their own names sells only 2,000 copies in the US. Interest in the duo is revived when they are the subject of the premiere episode of the VH1 program “Behind The Music”, documenting their meteoric rise and fall. Sadly, Rob Pilatus, plagued by numerous personal problems after Milli Vanilli’s fall from grace, dies of a drug and alcohol overdose in a hotel in Frankfurt, Germany on April 2, 1998 at the age of 32. Fab Morvan continues to work as a musician and public speaker, recording an album in 2003. In 2007, Universal Pictures announces that they are working on a biopic about Milli Vanilli, written and directed by screenwriter Jeff Nathanson (“Catch Me If You Can”). To date, the project is still in development.

On this day in music history: November 17, 199…

On this day in music history: November 17, 1992 – “The Predator”, the third album by Ice Cube is released. Produced by Ice Cube, DJ Pooh, Sir Jinx, Torcha Chamba, and DJ Muggs, it is recorded at Echo Sound in Glendale, CA and The Hit Factory in New York City from Late 1991 – Mid 1992. Issued as the follow up to the platinum selling “Death Certificate”, the L.A. born rapper/actor writes many of the albums’ songs in the wake of the LA Riots in the Spring of 1992 and reflects those events and the aftermath. It spins off three singles including “Wicked”, Check Yo’ Self" and “It Was A Good Day”. Well received by fans and critics upon its release, the album is Cube’s most commercially successful. The album cover photo is taken by photographer Pamela Springsteen (Bruce’s younger sister). The album is remastered and reissued on CD in 2003, with four additional bonus tracks, including the remixes of “Check Yo’ Self”, “It Was A Good Day”, and the B-sides “24 Wit An L” and “You Ain’t Gonna Take My Life”.

Issued on vinyl in limited quantities during its original release in 1992, it is remastered and reissued as a double LP pressing in 2003, and as a single 180 gram LP in 2016.

“The Predator” spends one week at number one on both the Billboard Top 200 and R&B album charts, and is certified 2x Platinum in the US by the RIAA.

On this day in music history: November 17, 199…

On this day in music history: November 17, 1992 – “The Bodyguard – Original Soundtrack Album” is released. Produced by David Foster, Robert Clivilles, David Cole, Narada Michael Walden, L.A. Reid, Babyface, Daryl Simmons, BeBe Winans, Walter Afanasieff, Ian Devaney, Andy Morris, Danny Kortchmar, Charlie Midnight and Roy Lott, it is recorded from Mid 1991 – Early 1992. The album serves as the soundtrack for the hugely successful film starring Whitney Houston and Kevin Costner. The film written by Lawrence Kasdan (“The Big Chill”, “The Empire Strikes Back”, “Body Heat”, “Raiders Of The Lost Ark”), is one of the first screenplays written by the Academy Award nominated screen writer, producer and director. Originally conceived as a film vehicle starring Diana Ross and Ryan O’Neal in the late 70’s, the script is stuck in development at Warner Bros for nearly two decades before it is finally made. With pop and R&B superstar Houston and Oscar winner Costner cast in the lead roles, the film is directed by Mick Jackson (“L.A. Story”). The accompanying soundtrack album features six tracks by Houston including the smash “I Will Always Love You”, which breaks the then current record of thirteen weeks at number one on the Billboard Hot 100 set Boyz II Men’s “End Of The Road”. The album also features tracks by Curtis Stigers, Lisa Stansfield, Kenny G. & Aaron Neville, The S.O.U.L. System (featuring Michelle Visage), Joe Cocker (featuring Sass Jordan), and score composer Alan Silvestri. The soundtrack sells over forty four million copies worldwide, making it the biggest selling soundtrack of all time. The soundtrack wins three Grammy Awards including Record and Album Of The Year in 1994. “The Bodyguard” spends twenty weeks (non-consecutive) at number one on the Billboard Top 200, and is certified 17x Platinum in the US by the RIAA.

On this day in music history: November 16, 199…

On this day in music history: November 16, 1999 – “2001 (aka "The Chronic 2001”)“, the second album by Dr. Dre is released. Produced by Dr. Dre, Mel-Man and Lord Finesse, it is recorded at Dre’s Crib in Los Angeles, CA, Larrabee Sound Studios, A&M Studios in Hollywood, CA, Can-Am Recorders in Tarzana, CA, Encore Studios in Burbank, CA, Record One, Los Angeles in Sherman Oaks, CA, Skip Saylor Recording in Northridge, CA, Sierra Sonics Studios in Reno, NV and D&D Studios in New York City from Early 1998 – Mid 1999. Making a huge impact with his landmark solo debut "The Chronic” in late 1992, nearly seven years passes before the producer and rapper follows it up. In spite of the prolonged silence between albums, Dre is far from idle during this time. He produces protege Snoop Dogg’s multi-Platinum debut “Doggystyle”, tracks for the soundtracks of “Murder Was The Case”, “Above The Rim” and “Friday”. Dre also issues the compilation album “Dre Presents The Aftermath”, appears on Blackstreet’s Grammy winning chart topper “No Diggity” as well producing tracks for 2Pac and for Emimem’s major label debut album. By 1998, Dre begins working on his long awaited sophomore release. The producer pulls together an elite crew of talent including Snoop Dogg, Nate Dogg, Kurupt, Xzibit, Eminem, Devin The Dude, Knoc-turn’al, King T, Defari, Kokane, Hittman, and Mary J. Blige. Any talk of Dre having lost his touch is quickly silenced with the release of the first single “Still D.R.E.” featuring Snoop Dogg (#11 Rap, #32 R&B, #93 Pop), anchored by samples of ominous sounding strings and a piano vamp played by keyboardist and producer Scott Storch (Beyonce, 50 Cent, The Roots). The album is an immediate hit, spinning off two more singles including “Forgot About Dre” (#14 R&B, #25 Pop) and “The Next Episode” (#11 R&B, #23 Pop). Other tracks including “The Watcher”, “F*** You” and “Xxplosive” also become favorites, with the track from the latter being sampled as basis for the hit remix version of Erykah Badu’s “Bag Lady” (#1 R&B, #6 Pop) in 2000. “2001” is nominated for three Grammy Awards, winning Best Rap Performance By A Duo Or Group With Vocal for “Forgot About Dre” in 2001. “2001 (aka "The Chronic 2001”)“ spends four weeks (non-consecutive) at number one on the Billboard R&B album chart, peaking at number two on the Top 200, and is certified 6x Platinum in the US by the RIAA.

On this day in music history: November 16, 199…

On this day in music history: November 16, 1993 – “Hand On The Torch”, the debut album by Us3 is released. Produced by Mel Simpson and Geoff Wilkinson, it is recorded at Flame Studios in London from Early 1992 – Mid 1993. Formed in 1992 by producers Geoff Wilkinson and Mel Simpson, their first release under the Us3 name titled  "The Band Played The Boogie" becomes an underground hit in the UK after its picked up by Ninja Tune Records. It receives unexpected widespread exposure when radio station Kiss FM in London begins playing it. The record which samples jazz guitarist Grant Green’s classic “Sookie Sookie” also attracts the attention of Blue Note Records, the label that released Green’s original recording. Having sampled the Green record without authorization, Wilkinson and Simpson are initially fearful that they are going to be sued by Blue Note when they are called to the label’s London office. Instead, they are surprised when the label not only offers to sign them, but also gives them unlimited access to the company’s vast archive of landmark jazz recordings. Recruiting rappers Rahsaan Kelly, Kobie Powell and Tukka Yoot, the group begin recording their first album. Among the songs cut is “Cantaloop (Flip Fantasia)” (#9 Pop, #21 R&B), sampling Herbie Hancock’s  "Cantaloupe Island" and Birdland MC Pee Wee Marquette’s voice from jazz drummer Art Blakey’s “A Night at Birdland Vol. 1” album. The song is released as a single in September of 1993, and becomes a major hit, also going Gold. The success of the song propels “Hand” to Platinum status in the US, becoming the first album in the history of Blue Note Records to achieve sales of that level. It spins off another single with “Tukka Yoot’s Riddim” (two other singles in Europe). “Hand On The Torch” peaks at number thirty one on the Billboard Top 200, number twenty one on the R&B album chart, and is certified Platinum in the US by the RIAA.

Country music icon Roy Clark (born Roy Linwo…

Country music icon Roy Clark (born Roy Linwood Clark in Meherrin, VA) – April 15, 1933 – November 15, 2018, RIP

On this day in music history: November 14, 199…

On this day in music history: November 14, 1997 – The Bee Gees perform in concert in Grand Garden Arena at the MGM Grand Hotel in Las Vegas, NV. It is the final live concert in the US performed by the legendary pop music trio. The show is originally to be the bands’ farewell live performance due to Barry Gibb’s chronic back problems have left him unable to stand the rigors of extensive touring. The concert features music from all phases of the Bee Gees storied career including material from their most recent album “Still Waters”. The performance also features a tribute to their late younger brother Andy Gibb, with the brothers performing “(Our Love) Don’t Throw It All Away”, with footage of Andy synched up to the live musicians and singing the songs’ second verse and bridge. Pop singer Celine Dion also appears, performing the Gibb brothers penned song “Immortality” with the trio. The concert is released as a live album (in edited form) and home video release featuring the complete concert titled “One Night Only” in September of 1998.

Comic book writer, editor, publisher, produc…

Comic book writer, editor, publisher, producer and icon Stan Lee (born Stanley Martin Lieber in Manhattan, NY) – December 28, 1922 – November 12, 2018, RIP