Category: alternative rock

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 16, 1986 – …

On this day in music history: June 16, 1986 – “The Queen Is Dead”, the third studio album by The Smiths is released. Produced by Morrissey and Johnny Marr, it is recorded at Jacobs Studios in Farnham, Surrey, UK, RAK Studios in London and Clear Recordings in Manchester, UK from July – December 1985. Morrissey and Marr write the majority of the songs for their third album during and between tours of Great Britain in 1985. Recording begins in the Summer with the song “Bigmouth Strikes Again” at Johnny Marr’s home studio. Originally intended to be just a demo, the band like the original version so much that it is released as single in advance of the album in May 1986. The rest of the album is completed later in the year in London and Surrey. When it debuts in the late Spring of 1986, it receives universal praise from the press and fans alike upon its release, and is regarded by many as The Smiths best album. Out of print on vinyl since the early 90’s, it is remastered and reissued as a 180 gram LP by Rhino Records in 2009, also including card for an mp3 download of the album. It is also remastered and reissued on CD in 2011 for its twenty fifth anniversary, with a limited numbered edition (to 2,000 copies) pressed a 10" LP (Europe only) for Record Store Day in April of 2011. The album is also reissued as a five LP deluxe box set in 2017, including the original ten song album, demos, single B-sides, and a full unreleased live concert recorded at Great Woods in Boston, MA on August 5, 1986. “The Queen Is Dead” peaks at number two on the UK album chart, number seventy on the Billboard Top 200, and is certified Gold in the US by the RIAA.

On this day in music history: June 15, 1989 – …

On this day in music history: June 15, 1989 – “Bleach”, the debut album by Nirvana is released. Produced by Jack Endino, it is recorded at Reciprocal Recording in Seattle, WA from December 1988 – January 1989. The first album by the Aberdeen, WA grunge rock band is recorded in only thirty hours of studio time at a cost of only $606.17. Second guitarist Jason Everman finances the recording of the album in spite of not playing a note on it. Guitarist/songwriter and lead singer Kurt Cobain credits him anyway as a gesture of thanks. Issued on small Seattle indie rock label Sub Pop Records, the album sells about 40,000 copies during its initial release, but rises significantly in prominence following Nirvana’s hugely successful second album “Nevermind” in 1991. “Bleach” finally charts on the Billboard Top 200 in 1992 peaking at #89. It tops the Catalog album sales chart on May 7, 1994 one month after Kurt Cobain’s death. A limited number of copies of the original LP release are pressed on white vinyl. Subsequent reissues are pressed on numerous colors including marbled pink, clear red, swirled aqua blue, marbled bottle green, marbled purple. In 2009, the album is remastered and reissued for its twentieth anniversary. The LP configuration is issued as a double vinyl set  (exclusively sold through retailer Newbury Comics) featuring a live performance recorded at the Pine Street Theatre in Portland, OR in February of 1990. The LP’s also also pressed in multiple colors including white, blue marbled black and purple marbled black. “Bleach” is certified Platinum in the US by the RIAA.

Mike Shinoda – Watching As I Fall

Mike Shinoda – Watching As I Fall

Horse Head (Feat. Smrtdeath) – Spiderwebs

Horse Head (Feat. Smrtdeath) – Spiderwebs

Paris – Nothing

Paris – Nothing

Yung Heazy – Cuz You’re My Girl

Yung Heazy – Cuz You’re My Girl

On this day in music history: May 10, 1994 – &…

On this day in music history: May 10, 1994 – “Weezer” (aka “The Blue Album”), the debut album by Weezer is released. Produced by Ric Ocasek, it is recorded at Electric Lady Studios in New York City from August – September 1993. Formed in 1992 by lead guitarist and vocalist Rivers Cuomo, drummer Patrick Wilson, bassist Matt Sharp and rhythm guitarist Jason Cropper, Weezer are playing live gigs only months afterward. Continuing to rehearse and write songs, within a year, the band begin drawing major label attention and are signed to Geffen subsidiary DGC Records in 1993. The band are paired with Cars co-founder and lead singer Ric Ocasek who signs on to produce their debut album. During the recording, Jason Cropper quits the band and he is replaced by Brian Bell. Weezer’s unique musical sensibility which combines punk and metal attitude with strong power pop guitar riffs and hooks, are counterbalanced by the band’s own shy and nerdy demeanor. The first single “Undone – The Sweater Song”, is supported with a quirky and innovative low budget video directed by Spike Jonze (“Being John Malkovich”, “Adaptation”), that becomes an immediate hit on MTV. Jonze also directs the video for the follow up single “Buddy Holly” (#2 Modern Rock, #18 Hot 100 Airplay), in which the band are digitally morphed into clips from the classic sitcom “Happy Days”, playing on stage in Arnold’s Drive-In. Using the same green screen techniques employed by Industrial Light & Magic on the film “Forrest Gump”, Weezer’s performance footage is seamlessly blended in with the film clips from the series. Also featuring a cameo appearance by actor Al Molinaro, the video is another huge MTV favorite, winning four MTV VMA awards in 1995 including Best Alternative Video and Breakthrough Video. The album spins off a third and final single with “Say It Ain’t So” (#7 Modern Rock, #51 Hot 100 Airplay). In time, Weezer’s debut album will come to be regarded as one of the best albums of the 90’s. In 2004, it is remastered and reissued as a two disc Deluxe Edition. The first disc features the original ten track album, with disc two containing fourteen tracks, including B-sides, unreleased track, live acoustic recordings and alternate mixes. Originally released on vinyl in very limited quantities in 1994, it is reissued briefly in 2002 by Geffen Records. In 2012, it is released as a 180 gram vinyl LP by Mobile Fidelity Sound Lab, pressed on blue marbled vinyl, and by Back To Black (UK & Europe on standard black vinyl). A hybrid SACD is also issued by the label in 2014. Another vinyl reissue released by Geffen/UMe with Direct Metal Mastering, and includes a poster is released in 2016. “Weezer” peaks at number sixteen on the Billboard Top 200, and is certified 3x Platinum in the US by the RIAA.

On this day in music history: May 6, 1986 – “S…

On this day in music history: May 6, 1986 – “Standing On A Beach/Staring At The Sea" by The Cure is released. Produced by Robert Smith, Chris Parry, Mike Hedges, Steve Nye, Phil Thornalley, and David M. Allen, it is recorded at Morgan Studios in Willesden, UK, RAK Studios, Genetic Studios, Garden Studios, Trident Studios and Angel Studios in London from November 1978 – July 1985. The album is the bands second singles compilation (after “Japanese Whispers”), containing material from the British goth/alternative rock bands first six studio albums. The different configurations of the album that are released feature varying track listings, as well as different titles. The original vinyl LP version (titled “Standing On A Beach”) includes thirteen tracks, with the CD and cassette version (titled “Staring At The Sea”) containing seventeen tracks on the CD, adding four additional tracks. The cassette edition contains a total of twenty five tracks, including thirteen additional non-LP single B-sides. The LP version takes its title from a lyric in the bands first single “Killing An Arab” which leads to the band putting a disclaimer sticker on the album when it is misconstrued as being anti-Arab. The cover artwork features a photo of a retired fisherman named John Button on the front, who is also featured in the music video for “Killing An Arab”. The album is also accompanied by the release of a music video compilation titled “Staring At The Sea – The Images” (released on VHS and Laserdisc), which has the same track listing as the CD release. The compilation is promoted by a re-release of The Cure’s 1979 single “Boys Don’t Cry” that features a newly recorded lead vocal by Robert Smith, and is noticeably remixed from the original version. Though ironically, this version is only issued commercially as a single in the UK (promotional 7" and 12" only in the US), and is not included on the album (the original version is). “Standing On A Beach/Staring At The Sea” peaks at number four on the UK album chart, number forty eight on the Billboard Top 200, and is certified 2x Platinum in the US by the RIAA.

On this day in music history: May 4, 1993 – “R…

On this day in music history: May 4, 1993 – “Rid Of Me”, the second studio album by PJ Harvey is released. Produced by Steve Albini, it is recorded at Pachyderm Studios in Cannon Falls, MN in December 1992. Following up her critically acclaimed debut album “Dry” from the year before, British musician Polly Jean Harvey and her band come to the US to work with famed indie rock producer Steve Albini (Pixies, The Jesus Lizard, Nirvana) on their second album. The album is recorded over a two week period, with the bulk of the recording being done in only three days. Its hard edged “claustrophobic sound” combined with Harvey’s highly personal lyrics and wildly dynamic vocals, makes an immediate impact. Upon its release, “Rid” draws major acclaim and praise from both the underground and mainstream rock press as well as fans. In time, it is regarded as one of the best alternative rock albums of the 90’s. The album’s now iconic cover shot (taken by photographer Maria Mochnacz in her bathroom) features a photo of Harvey posed topless (cropped at the upper chest) swinging her wet hair upward. The photo is taken in total darkness with the camera flash providing the only illumination for the final image. “Rid Of Me” peaks at number three on the UK album chart, and one hundred fifty eight on the Billboard Top 200.