On this day in music history: October 10, 2007 – “In Rainbows”, the seventh album by Radiohead is released. Produced by Nigel Godrich, it is recorded at Canned Applause in Didcot, Oxfordshire, UK, Tottenham House in Marlborough, Wiltshire, UK, Halswell House in Taunton, Somerset, UK and Hospital Studios in Covent Garden, Westminster, UK in from February 2005 – June 2007. Fulfilling their contract with EMI Records in 2003 with “Hail To The Thief”, Radiohead follow it with a world tour. The band then take an extended hiatus to rest and tend to their growing families. Re-grouping in early 2005, it is without their long time producer Nigel Godrich who is busy at the time working with Beck. The band then hire producer Mark “Spike” Stent, best known for his work with U2 and Björk. After a year in the studio, the producer goes over the material, and bluntly tells them the songs “aren’t good enough”. The band break ties with Stent and work on the project stops. They then embark on their first tour in over two years, also using the shows to test new material written during this time. In October of 2006, the band reconnect with Godrich and work resumes on their seventh album, quickly putting them back on the right path. Feeling that “Hail To The Thief” was over long, they pare the work in progress down to the best ten songs for the main release. When recording wraps in the late Spring of 2007, there comes the task of how to release their new album. Titled “In Rainbows”, Radiohead take the unprecedented step of issuing it as a “pay what your want” MP3 digital download for exactly two months prior to the physical release. Though receiving some criticism for the move, it is enthusiastically received by the public, selling over 1.2 million digital downloads. Along side the standard single CD and vinyl LP release, the album is made available as a mail order only limited box set that contains the standard ten song CD, a bonus CD with eight additional tracks, and enhanced content with artwork, photos and song lyrics. The lavish “discbox” package also includes a double vinyl LP set mastered at 45 RPM. Issued in the UK through XL Recordings and in the US on TBD Records through Red Distribution in early December of 2007, It enters the UK and US album charts at #1, making it only the tenth indie distributed album to top the charts in the US. It receives seven Grammy nominations in 2009, winning two awards for Best Alternative Album and Best Special Limited Edition Package for the limited release. It makes history and proves to be a game changer, showing an album can be successfully marketed and promoted without major record label support. The Eagles also follow suit, issuing their album “Long Road Out Of Eden” through mass market retailer Wal-Mart, rather than through a major label with similar success. “In Rainbows” spends one week at number one on the Billboard Top 200, and is certified Gold in the US by the RIAA.
On this day in music history: October 10, 1995 – “Tragic Kingdom”, the third album by No Doubt is released. Produced by Matthew Wilder, it is recorded at Total Access Recording Studios in Redondo Beach, CA, The Record Plant in Los Angeles, CA, Santa Monica Sound Recorders, Mars Recording, 4th Street Recording in Santa Monica, CA, NRG Studios, Clear Lake Audio in North Hollywood, CA, Rumbo Recorders in Canoga Park, CA, Grandmaster Recorders, North Vine Studios in Hollywood, CA and Red Zone Studios in Burbank, CA from March 1993 – October 1995. Following the commercial failure of their self-titled debut album released in early 1992, No Doubt take time to regroup and plan their next move. Eric Stefani (lead singer Gwen Stefani’s older brother, keyboardist and main songwriter) disillusioned with the indifference their first album is met with, remains a band member but begins to pursue other interests, going to work as an animator on the hit series “The Simpsons” before departing the band altogether in 1995. The bands label Interscope Records pairs them with producer Matthew Wilder (“Break My Stride”) to begin the process of recording their “make or break” album. During this time, Gwen and bassist Tony Kanal end their seven year relationship. Initially heartbroken over the split, it provides the singer with the inspiration for the lyrics of several songs that wind up on the finished album. No Doubt spends the better part of two and a half years working on and off on the album, finally finishing in the Fall of 1995. The title “Tragic Kingdom” is a wry word play on “The Magic Kingdom”, the other moniker for Disneyland in the bands home base of Anaheim, CA. Proceeded by the single “Just A Girl” (#23 Pop, #10 Modern Rock) featured prominently in the classic teen comedy “Clueless”, the album initially gets off to a slow start, not entering the chart until January of 1996. It’s only when the third single “Don’t Speak” is released to radio, that the album is propelled into orbit. “Speak” is not issued as a commercial single in the US, making it ineligible to chart on the Hot 100 (according to Billboard’s original chart criteria), but spends sixteen weeks at the top of the radio airplay chart. No Doubt tours exhaustively in support of the project, spending over two years on the road. The bands’ energetic live performances, led by Gwen Stefani’s charismatic and electric stage presence turn them into a top draw. They receive a pair of Grammy nominations for Best New Artist and Best Rock Album in 1997. “Don’t Speak” also receives Grammy nominations for Song Of The Year and Best Pop Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocals in 1998. “Tragic Kingdom” spends nine weeks (non-consecutive) at number one on the Billboard Top 200, and is certified 10x Platinum in the US by the RIAA, earning a Diamond Certification.
On this day in music history: October 6, 1992 – “Automatic For The People”, the eighth album by R.E.M. is released. Produced by Scott Litt and R.E.M., it is recorded at Bearsville Studios in Bearsville, NY, Criteria Studios in Miami, FL, John Keane Studio in Athens, GA, Kingsway Studios in New Orleans, LA, and Bosstown Studios in Atlanta, GA, from Late 1991 – Mid 1992. Issued as the follow up to the hugely successful “Out Of Time”, much like its predecessor, the overall mood of the album is quiet and subdued, though the lyrical tone of the songs are decidedly darker with many dealing with mortality. The band originally intend for it to be a “harder rocking album”, but does not come out that way, when they are unsatisfied with the thirty songs that are written and demoed. Instead, they take a more unorthodox approach to writing the songs. Instead of playing their usual instruments, drummer Bill Berry plays bass during the writing sessions, with bassist Mike Mills playing organ or piano, and guitarist Peter Buck playing mandolin. Composing songs without the presence of drums, has an overall affect on the feel of the finished product. The album takes its title from a phrase off of the sign of a soul food restaurant (Weaver D’s Delicious Fine Foods) located in the bands’ hometown of Athens, GA. The actual image pictured on the cover is from the sign in front of the Sinbad Motel in Miami, FL. It spins off five singles including “Drive” (#1 Modern Rock, #28 Pop), “Man On The Moon” (#4 Modern Rock) and “Everybody Hurts” (Modern Rock #21, #29 Pop). Written about late comedian Andy Kaufman, “Man On The Moon” also becomes the title of a biopic starring Jim Carrey as Kaufman, and directed by Miloš Forman. Some CD copies come in a limited edition wooden pine box. It also contains sixteen cards with artwork and photographs printed on vellum. In 2003, it is reissued as a hybrid DualDisc, and as a DVD-A disc, with the latter featuring DTS, Dolby Digital 5.1 surround mixes, and the original stereo mix in high resolution. For its twenty fifth anniversary in 2017, it is remastered and reissued as a three CD + Blu-ray box set. The extras include a live concert performance recorded at The 40 Watt Club in Athens, GA. Also previously unreleased demo recordings, many of songs not being re-recorded for the final album. The Blu-ray features a new remix in Dolby True-HD 7.1 sound, and with the standard stereo mix in high resolution sound (with one additional bonus track. The Blu-ray also contains seven music videos, as well as the original electronic press kit video. Initially issued on limited edition vinyl on its original 1992 release (with sides one and two titled “DRIVE” and “RIDE”), it is briefly reissued in Europe in 1999. The album is remastered and reissued as a 180 gram LP in 2017. “Automatic For The People” peaks at number two on the Billboard Top 200, and is certified 3x Platinum in the US by the RIAA.
On this day in music history: October 1, 1984 – “The Unforgettable Fire”, the fourth album by U2 is released. Produced by Daniel Lanois and Brian Eno, it is recorded at Slane Castle in County Meath, Ireland and Windmill Lane Studios in Dublin, Ireland from May 7 – August 5, 1984. The band’s first collaboration with producers Brian Eno and Daniel Lanois, it marks the beginning of a dramatic shift in U2’s sound, showing a greater willingness to experiment with different sonic textures than before. Initially, Island Records boss Chris Blackwell tries to talk them out of working with Eno, feeling that he will divert them into “avant-garde nonsense”, but the band eventually prevail in their choice of producers. The collaboration turns out to be an inspired one, with U2 pushing their musical boundaries further, as their popularity continues to rise. The albums’ title is inspired by art exhibit about the atomic bombing of Hiroshima that band sees while touring Japan. It spins off four singles including “Pride (In The Name Of Love)” (#33 US Pop #2 Mainstream Rock), a tribute to Civil Rights leader Martin Luther King, Jr.. U2 also release a long form video titled “The Unforgettable Fire Collection” that includes versions one and two of the music videos for “Pride”, the title cut and “A Sort Of Homecoming”. It also includes a live performance clip of “Bad” as well as a thirty minute long documentary on the making of the album. The documentary is later reissued on DVD in 2003 as part of the release “U2 Go Home: Live from Slane Castle”. The album is remastered and reissued in 2009 for its twenty fifth anniversary on CD in standard, deluxe editions, as a limited edition box set, also reissuing it on vinyl for the first time in many years. “The Unforgettable Fire” peaks at number twelve on the Billboard Top 200, and is certified 3x Platinum in the US by the RIAA.
On this day in music history: October 1, 1984 – “Red Sails In The Sunset”, the fifth album by Midnight Oil is released. Produced by Nick Launay and Midnight Oil, it is recorded at Victor Aoyama Studio in Tokyo, Japan from June – August 1984. After the success of their breakthrough third album “10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1”, Midnight Oil work once again with producer and engineer Nick Launay (INXS). Being very socially conscious, many of the songs focus on concerns about the environment, politics, materialism, and the ever looming threat of nuclear war at the time. The latter concern is expressed in albums striking cover artwork by Japanese artist Tsunehisa Kimura, featuring a painting of Sydney Harbour after the devastation of a nuclear bomb strike. The single “Best Of Both Worlds” receives significant airplay on MTV and enters the US charts. Originally released on CD in 1985, is is remastered and reissued by Sony Music in Australia in 2014. “Red Sails In The Sunset” hits number one on the Australian album chart, and peaks at number one hundred seventy seven on the Billboard Top 200.
On this day in music history: September 29, 1992 – “Core”, the debut album by Stone Temple Pilots is released. Produced by Brendan O’Brien, it is recorded at Rumbo Recorders in Los Angeles, CA from Early – Mid 1992. Originally known as Mighty Joe Young when they form in 1986, the band are forced to change their name (right before signing with Atlantic Records) when their attorney informs them there is a blues musician billing himself as “Mighty Joe Young” had adapted the name first. Stone Temple Pilots name is inspired by STP motor oil logo that the members had seen growing up. They take those initials and devise a few different names before deciding on their final moniker. The first album by the Long Beach, CA based rock band at first are lambasted by critics as being “a rip off” of grunge bands such as Pearl Jam and Alice In Chains. But it quickly spins off four singles including “Plush” (#1 Mainstream Rock) and “Wicked Garden” (#11 Mainstream Rock). The band win a Grammy Award for Best Hard Rock Performance in 1993 for the single “Plush”. In November of 2013, the album is reissued on LP for the first time in more than twenty years, as a numbered limited edition on clear gold vinyl for Black Friday Record Store Day. “Core” peaks at number three on the Billboard Top 200, and is certified 8x Platinum in the US by the RIAA.
On this day in music history: September 29, 1992 – “Dirt”, the second album by Alice In Chains is released. Produced by Dave Jerden and Alice In Chains, it is recorded at Eldorado Recording Studios in Burbank, CA, One On One Recording Studios in Los Angeles, CA, and London Bridge Studios in Seattle, WA from March – May 1992. Issued as the follow up to their 2x Platinum selling debut “Facelift”, the dark and heavy tone of the album is influenced by the band members problems with depression, alcohol and substance abuse, especially present in lead singer Layne Staley’s lyrics. In rehab when the sessions begin, Staley relapses and begins using heroin and oxycodone, which complicates his relationships with his band mates and producer Jerden. In spite of the behind the scenes drama, the sessions are successfully completed. The album is very well received upon its release and is regarded as one of the best rock albums of the 90’s. It spins off five singles including “Them Bones” (#24 Mainstream Rock), “Rooster” (#7 Mainstream Rock) and “Would?” (#5 Mainstream Rock), the latter also being featured in the film and soundtrack to Cameron Crowe’s “Singles”. In Europe, the album is packaged with a limited edition bonus CD with four bonus tracks, including the single edit and LP versions of “Down In A Hole”, “Rooster” and “What The Hell I Have”. Originally released only on CD and cassette in the US, and on vinyl on a very limited basis internationally, it is remastered and reissued by Music On Vinyl in 2009. The reissue is pressed on standard black vinyl, and a limited edition pressing on dark red marbled vinyl. "Dirt" peaks at number six on the Billboard Top 200, and is certified 4x Platinum in the US by the RIAA.
On this day in music history: September 29, 1986 – “Brotherhood”, the fourth album by New Order is released. Produced by New Order, it is recorded at Jam Studios in London, Windmill Lane Studios in Dublin, Ireland and Amazon Studios in Liverpool, UK from Early – Mid 1986. Stylistically, the album combines the bands earlier post-punk roots with the electronic dance sound that broadens their audience throughout the decade. The centerpiece of the album is the single “Bizarre Love Triangle”, which provides New Order with their breakthrough in the US. Though it fails to chart on the Hot 100, the song is a huge hit on the dance chart (thanks to remixes by Shep Pettibone) peaking at #4 on the Billboard Club Play chart and #8 on the Hot Dance Singles Sales chart. For the track “Every Little Counts”, the band devises an ending to the song in which it sounds like the needle is skipping off the end of the record, indirectly paying homage to the end of The Beatles’ “A Day In The Life” which UK vinyl copies featured a concentric inner groove that plays over and over again (on turntables without an auto return tonearm) until the needle is lifted off of the record. The album is remastered and reissued on CD in 2009, as a double disc deluxe edition. The first disc contains the original ten song album, with disc two featuring 12" remixes and the non-LP B-sides issued at the time. It is also reissued as a 180 gram vinyl LP by Rhino Records. “Brotherhood” peaks at number nine on the UK album chart, and number one hundred sixty one on the Billboard Top 200.
On this day in music history: September 28, 1987 – “Music For The Masses”, the sixth album by Depeche Mode is released. Produced by Depeche Mode and David Bascombe. it is recorded at Studio Guilliame Tell in Paris, France and Konk Studios in London from February – July 1987. Coming on the heels of their previous album “Black Celebration”, the title of the new album is conceived as an in joke between band members having been told by their record company that they “should make more commercial music”. Though Depeche Mode feel the material is anything but commercial, ironically it is their most accessible and best selling album in the US to date. The band support the album with their largest world tour to date. On the US leg of the tour, their sold out live dates at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, CA are captured in the documentary film and album “101”. “Masses” spins off four singles including “Strangelove” (#76 US Pop, #16 UK), “Never Let Me Down Again” (#63 US Pop, #22 UK), and “Behind The Wheel” (#61 US Pop, #21 UK). After the track “Behind The Wheel” is issued as a single, it is remixed various times, including a version that pairs it as a medley with the pop standard “Route 66”. “. The album is remastered and reissued in 2006 as a CD + DVD-A/Video Deluxe Edition. The CD contains the original ten song album, with the DVD disc featuring a 5.1 surround mix. It also includes the documentary short "Depeche Mode: 1987-88 (Sometimes You Do Need Some New Jokes)”, along with audio of nine additional bonus tracks, including non-LP B-sides and remixes. It is remastered and reissued on vinyl for the first time in 2014 by Rhino Records, and Music On Vinyl. A new pressing (issued with a new catalog number) is released in 2017 by Rhino. “Music For The Masses” peaks at number ten on the UK album chart, number thirty five on the Billboard Top 200, is certified Platinum in the US by the RIAA.