Category: 90’s

On this day in music history: June 18, 1996 – …

On this day in music history: June 18, 1996 – “Odelay”, the fifth studio album by Beck is released. Produced by Beck Hansen, The Dust Brothers, Mario Caldato, Jr, Brian Paulson, Tom Rothrock and Rob Schnapf, it is recorded at PCP Labs and G-Son Studios in Los Angeles, CA, The Shop, Sunset Sound and Conway Studios in Hollywood, CA and Sun Studios in Memphis, TN, from March 1994 – February 1996. Beck initially begins recording with Tom Rothrock and Rob Schnapf in early 1994, intending it to be more acoustic based than the previous album. He ends up scrapping much of the work recorded during those sessions, starting over with The Dust Brothers. The albums title is pun on the phrase “Oh Delay”, with Beck making a subtle, self-effacing statement on how long it had taken to record the album. It spins off five singles including “Where It’s At” and “Devil’s Haircut”. The album becomes Hansen’s most successful and acclaimed album, winning two Grammy Awards including Best Alternative Music Album and Best Male Rock Vocal Performance for the single “Where It’s At” in 1997. It is remastered and reissued in 2008 as a double CD Deluxe Edition, with the first disc featuring the original fourteen song album plus three additional bonus tracks. Disc two includes sixteen bonus tracks including remixes and non album B-sides. The album is also reissued as a lavish quadruple LP set pressed on 180 gram vinyl, and limited to 3,000 copies. “Odelay” peaks at number sixteen on the Billboard Top 200, and is certified 2x Platinum in the US by the RIAA.

On this day in music history: June 18, 1996 – …

On this day in music history: June 18, 1996 – “Secrets”, the second album by Toni Braxton is released. Produced by Babyface, Antonio “L.A.” Reid, R. Kelly, David Foster, Tony Rich, Soulshock & Karlin and Keith Crouch it is recorded at Bosstown Recording Studios, Studio LaCoCo in Atlanta, GA, Ocean Way Recording in Hollywood, CA, The Record Plant in Los Angeles, CA, and The Tracken Place in Beverly Hills, CA from October 1995 – May 1996. The follow up to Braxton’s self-titled debut equals the success of her first effort, cementing her status as one of the premier female vocalists of the era. Featuring tracks produced by Babyface and David Foster, the album spins off four hits including the #1 singles “You’re Makin’ Me High” (1 week on the Hot 100, 2 weeks on the R&B singles chart (non-consecutive) and “Un-Break My Heart” (11 weeks on the Hot 100 and #2 R&B). “Secrets” is Braxton’s most successful album, selling over eight million copies in the US alone, winning two Grammy Awards including Best Female Pop Vocal Performance and Best Female R&B Vocal Performance in 1997. The album is remastered and reissued as a two disc expanded edition by Funky Town Grooves Records in 2016. The first disc features the original thirteen song album with six additional bonus tracks including remixes and single edits. The second disc features twelve more bonus tracks with similar material. “Secrets” peaks at number two on the Billboard Top 200, spending one week at number one on the R&B album chart, and is certified 8x Platinum in the US by the RIAA.

On this day in music history: June 17, 1991 – …

On this day in music history: June 17, 1991 – “For Unlawful Carnal Knowledge”, the ninth studio album by Van Halen is released. Produced by Andy Johns, Ted Templeman and Van Halen, it is recorded at 5150 Studios in Hollywood, CA from March 1990 – April 1991. The albums’ title is inspired when Sammy Hagar, wanting to stir things up and make a statement against the tide of censorship sweeping the media at the time, suggests that the band title their latest album “F***”. Hagar’s friend, boxer Ray “Boom Boom” Mancini tells him that the expletive “f***” is actually an acronym for the phrase “for unlawful carnal knowledge”. The album also marks the return of the bands original producer Ted Templeman, whom the band had been estranged from for many years. In spite of mostly mixed reviews from critics upon its release, it is warmly received by the bands loyal fans. It spins off four singles including “Poundcake” (#1 Album Rock) and “Right Now” (#2 Album Rock, #55 Pop). The latter is supported by a music video (directed by Mark Fenske) whose unique concept and graphic style makes it an instant staple on MTV, winning three Video Music Awards including Video Of The Year in 1992. The album also wins Van Halen their first (and so far only) Grammy Award for Best Hard Performance in 1992. “For Unlawful Carnal Knowledge” enters the Billboard Top 200 at number one, spending three weeks at the top, and is certified 3x Platinum in the US by the RIAA.

Blues guitarist Matt “Guitar” Mu…

Blues guitarist Matt “Guitar” Murphy (Howlin’ Wolf, Ike Turner, Etta James, The Blues Brothers) (born Matthew Tyler Murphy in Sunflower, MS) – December 29, 1929 – June 15, 2018, RIP

On this day in music history: June 16, 1990 – …

On this day in music history: June 16, 1990 – “Tomorrow (A Better You, Better Me)” by Quincy Jones Featuring Tevin Campbell hits #1 on the Billboard R&B singles chart for 1 week, also peaking at #75 on the Hot 100 on the same date. Written by George Johnson, Louis Johnson and Siedah Garrett, it is the fourth R&B chart topper for the legendary producer, composer and arranger born Quincy Delightt Jones, Jr.. “Tomorrow” is originally composed as an instrumental by George and Louis Johnson, and included on The Brothers Johnson’s 1976 debut album “Look Out For #1”. During the recording of “Block”, Jones discovers the twelve year old singer from Waxahatchie, TX named Tevin Campbell. Impressed with the young singers vocal prowess, he searches for a song for him to record on the album. Jones asks singer/songwriter Siedah Garrett (also one of his proteges) to write lyrics for the previously instrumental “Tomorrow”. The song also features jazz saxophonist Gerald Albright performing the sax solo. Issued as the third single from producer/arranger Quincy Jones’ album “Back On The Block”, in March of 1990, “Tomorrow (A Better You, Better Me)” is the third consecutive R&B chart topper from “Back On The Block”. The chart topping success of the song, is followed by Tevin Campbell beginning a successful recording career starting with his first album “T.E.V.I.N.” in 1991. Campbell also makes a cameo appearance in Prince’s third film “Graffiti Bridge”, performing the hit single “Round And Round”, written and produced by the superstar musician.

On this day in music history: June 16, 1990 – …

On this day in music history: June 16, 1990 – “It Must Have Been Love” by Roxette hits #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 for 2 weeks. Written by Per Gessle, it is the third US chart topping single for the pop music duo from Halmstad, Sweden. Two years before Roxette make their breakthrough in the US with their first number one single “The Look” and the album “Look Sharp”, they are still making in roads to success across the European continent. With the German branch of their label EMI unable to secure airplay for their records in that country, an executive suggests that they record a holiday single to be released while the group are on a promotional tour of the country. Gessle writes “It Must Have Been Love (Christmas For The Broken Hearted)”, making reference to the ending of a relationship, and feelings of loneliness during the holiday in the wake of that break up. In the end, EMI Germany passes on releasing the song, but is released in Sweden where it becomes a top ten hit. In 1989, after Roxette hit the American charts in a major way with four back to back hits, they are asked to contribute a song for an upcoming film soundtrack. EMI Records executive Ron Fair is supervising the soundtrack for the film “Pretty Woman” along with Touchstone Pictures Senior VP of Music Chris Montan. They contact Per, asking him to write a song for the film. Gessle agrees, sending several demos, and their past recordings not released in the US. When Fair and Montan hear the original version of “It Must Have Been Love”, they know immediately they have found the right song for the film. Also playing it for director Garry Marshall, he re-edits the film in order for the song to be added to the soundtrack. Some minor changes are made to the original recording, including adding some new instrumentation, background vocals, and lead singer Marie Fredriksson changing the lyric “a hard Christmas day” to “a hard winter’s day”. With the film “Pretty Woman”, starring Julia Roberts and Richard Gere becoming a huge hit at the box office, the accompanying soundtrack follows suit. Released as the second single from the soundtrack on March 20, 1990, “Love” quickly becomes a smash. Entering the Hot 100 at #67 on April 7, 1990, it climbs to the top of the chart ten weeks later. The success of “It Must Have Been Love”, propels the “Pretty Woman” soundtrack to number four on the Billboard Top 200, and is certified 3x Platinum in the US by the RIAA. One of the most played singles on radio during the 90’s and 2000’s, “It Must Have Been Love” receives an award from the music publishing society BMI in 2014, for more than five million plays on radio since its release. “It Must Have Been Love” is certified Gold in the US by the RIAA.

Born on this day: June 16, 1971 – Rap music ic…

Born on this day: June 16, 1971 – Rap music icon and actor 2Pac (born Tupac Amaru Shakur in East Harlem, NY). Happy Birthday to Tupac on what would have been his 47th Birthday.

On this day in music history: June 15, 1999 – …

On this day in music history: June 15, 1999 – “Supernatural”, the seventeenth album by Santana is released. Produced by Clive Davis, Matt Serletic, Wyclef Jean, Jerry ‘Wonder’ Duplessis, The Dust Brothers, Alex González, Charles Goodan, Lauryn Hill, Art Hodge, Fher Olvera, K.C. Porter, Dante Ross and Stephen Harris, it is recorded at The Plant Studios in Sausalito, CA, Fantasy Studios in Berkeley, CA, The Hit Factory, Electric Lady Studios, Chung King Studios in New York City, South Beach Studios in Miami Beach, FL, Worldbeat Studios in Davie, FL, PCP Labs in Los Angeles, CA, Cello Studios and Conway Studios in Hollywood, CA from January – April 1999. By the late 90’s, in spite of being regarded as rock icons, Santana is seen as a spent force commercially. Not having scored a Gold album since “Shangó” in 1982, that assessment would seem correct. After the poor sales of “Milagro” in 1992, the band stop recording, though remain active as a live act. In 1998 they are inducted into the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame. At the ceremony, Carlos Santana runs into his former label boss Clive Davis, the chairman of Arista Records. Having originally signed Santana to Columbia Records in the late 60’s, Davis had overseen the band through their first and most successful era. In speaking with Davis, Santana expresses his ambition for that type of success again. Clive suggests to Carlos that they craft an album that combines the past with the present. Davis pairs the veteran guitarist with numerous high profile guest musicians, including Eric Clapton, Dave Matthews, Eagle-Eye Cherry, Lauryn Hill, Cee-Lo Green, Maná and KC Porter. Another guest is Matchbox Twenty lead singer Rob Thomas, who along with Itaal Shur come up with the infectious first single “Smooth” (#1 Pop, #10 Mainstream Rock, #11 AC). It is a massive worldwide hit, spending twelve weeks at number one, opening the floodgates to the albums’ success. It is quickly followed up with “Maria Maria” (#1 Pop, 1 R&B) featuring The Product G&B on vocals and co-produced by Wyclef Jean of The Fugees. “Maria” spends ten weeks at the top of the pop chart and three weeks at the top of the R&B chart. “Put Your Lights On” (#118 Pop, #8 Mainstream Rock, #17 Modern Rock) featuring Everlast (House Of Pain) also becomes a hit on mainstream and modern rock radio. The album sells a staggering thirty million copies worldwide. “Supernatural” breaks the record for most Grammy wins in a single year, originally set by Michael Jackson in 1984. Santana takes home nine awards including Record, Song and Album Of The Year. In addition, it also wins three Latin Grammys in 2000. It is remastered and reissued on CD in 2010 as a two disc Legacy Edition, with the second disc featuring unreleased tracks and remixes. “Supernatural” spends twelve weeks (non-consecutive) at number one the Billboard Top 200, and is certified 15x Platinum in the US by the RIAA, earning a Diamond Certification.

On this day in music history: June 15, 1991 – …

On this day in music history: June 15, 1991 – “Power Of Love/Love Power” by Luther Vandross hits #1 on the Billboard R&B singles chart for 2 weeks, also peaking at #4 on the Hot 100 on June 29, 1991. Written by Luther Vandross, Marcus Miller and Teddy Vann, it is the sixth chart topping single for the R&B music icon from New York City. Starting the new decade with the Grammy winning smash “Here And Now”, Luther Vandross returns to the studio in the fall of 1990 to begin recording his first album of all new material in nearly three years. As he has done many times in the past, Luther draws on the music of his youth to inspire him to write new material. On every studio album since his debut “Never Too Much” in 1981, Vandross makes it a point to include a cover version of at least one classic pop or R&B song from his formative years, made over in his own unique and inimitable style. Having scored a hit with the medley “Bad Boy/Having A Party” (#3 R&B, #55 Pop) in 1982, combining his own composition “Bad Boy” with the Sam Cooke classic “Having A Party”, the singer is inspired once again to seamlessly connect the past with the present. Along with long time collaborator and bassist Marcus Miller, Luther writes the positive and uplifting “Power Of Love”, fusing it together with The Sandpebbles’ 1968 hit “Love Power” (#14 R&B, #22 Pop). The track is recorded at A&M Studios in Hollywood, CA and Right Track Recording Studios in New York City in January of 1991. An obvious stand out from the outset, it is chosen to be the title track of Vandross’ seventh studio album, and the first single. Released on April 9, 1991, “Power Of Love/Love Power” is an immediate hit, giving Luther Vandross not only his sixth number one R&B single, but his highest charting solo single on the pop charts. The single wins Luther two Grammy Awards for Best Male R&B Vocal Performance and Best R&B Song in 1992. Ironically and sadly, “Power Of Love” is the last time that Luther is heard singing by the public. He suffers a debilitating stroke in 2003 following the completion of his final album “Dance With My Father”, seriously impairing his speech and physical movement. Vandross appears on the 46th Annual Grammy Awards on February 8, 2004 in a pre-taped segment, accepting the Song Of The Year award for the title track. In his heartfelt acceptance speech, the singer quotes from “Power Of Love”, speaking and singing the opening lines “when I say goodbye, it’s never for long, because I believe in the power of love…”.

On this day in music history: June 15, 1991 – …

On this day in music history: June 15, 1991 – “Rush, Rush” by Paula Abdul hits #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 for 5 weeks, also topping the Adult Contemporary chart for 5 weeks on June 29, 1991. Written by Peter Lord, it is the fifth chart topping single for the singer, dancer and choreographer from Los Angeles, CA. Coming off of the enormous success of her debut album “Forever Your Girl”, spinning off four number one pop singles, and selling more than twelve million copies worldwide, anticipation is high for the follow up. Rather than go the safe route and produce another predominantly dance oriented album with the same producers, Paula Abdul chooses to go in a different direction. Working with a group of producers that include Don Was, Jorge Corante, Colin England and Prince, the bulk of the project is helmed by the R&B group The Family Stand. The New York based band consisting of lead singer and keyboardist Sandra St. Victor, keyboardist and vocalist Peter Lord and multi-instrumentalist V. Jeffrey Smith, make their breakthrough in the US in early 1990 with the album “Chain” and the hit single “Ghetto Heaven”. With only a handful of credits to their name at the time, they seem like an unorthodox choice to work with Abdul. But the pairing turns out to be an inspired one, with them writing and producing eight of the eleven tracks on Paula’s second album “Spellbound”. The ballad “Rush, Rush” written by Peter Lord becomes an immediate favorite of Abdul’s when she hears the original demo recording. The track is recorded at Greene Street Studios and Z Recording in New York, with Paula recording her vocals at Studio Masters in Los Angeles in the Fall of 1990. Her initial scratch vocal on the track winds up being used as the final lead vocal, with The Family Stand feeling that the right emotion and feel is perfectly captured in that initial take. Radio programmers and fans are surprised at the dramatic stylistic departure from the previous album, but are immediately taken with “Rush, Rush”. Released as a single on May 2, 1991, it is an immediate smash. Entering the Hot 100 at #36 on May 11, 1991, it rockets to the top of the chart five weeks later. The song is supported by a music video that pays homage to the iconic film “Rebel Without A Cause” with actor Keanu Reeves and Abdul playing the roles immortalized by James Dean and Natalie Wood in the original film. Part of the video is filmed the Griffith Park Observatory in Los Angeles, the original location for the films famed street racing sequence. The success of “Rush, Rush” propels the “Spellbound” album to number one on the Top 200, spending two weeks at the top, and selling over three million copies in the US alone. “Rush, Rush” is certified Platinum in the US by the RIAA.